Physical activity and exercise are essentials for a healthy body and mind. They are important not just to adults, but also to kids and children in their development phase. Pediatricians in Gaithersburg, MD explain the positive impact that physical activity has on the growth and development of children.
• Improve the strength of bones and muscles
Stronger bones and muscles reduce the risk of injury in children. The age before teens and up to mid-20s is the age when bones grow to their maximum thickness. Engaging in activities, sports, and games such as lifting things of appropriate weight, jump rope, running, balancing etc. keeps kids agile, flexible, and nimble. It also helps prevent bone-related diseases during childhood and its onset in later stages in life.
• Keep the heart healthy
Brisk and vigorous movements improve the functioning of the heart and the lungs, thus preventing conditions such as hypertension, anxiety, and heart diseases. Aerobic activity also helps raise the levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, which removes excess fat from the bloodstream. Though most cardiovascular diseases occur during adulthood, fatty deposits in the arteries and incidences of high blood pressure can be seen in very young children. Exercising continuously for twenty to thirty minutes two to three times a week helps maintain fitness. Pediatricians in Gaithersburg explain that the workout should be preceded and followed by a gradual warm-up and cool-down period, or stretching exercises that allow muscles, joints, and the cardiovascular sys¬tem to ease into and out of vigorous activity. This ensures a safe workout.
• Reduce body fat and maintain healthy body weight
Playing games and engaging in physical exercise helps children burn calories, which in turn helps in positive body fat distribution and weight control. Reduced sedentary behavior also helps prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.
• Enhance alertness and concentration
The benefits of physical activity are not just limited to physiological ones. Working out or playing outdoors for a couple of hours every week is seen to release endorphins, the ‘feel good hormones’. This helps improve mental well-being and cognitive skills. A good outdoor game of soccer or simple activity like brisk walking can drastically improve the alertness and concentration levels in children.
• Reduce mood swings, anxiety, and depression
Physical activity helps improve the frame of mind, and releases serotonin, a hormone that contributes to reduced feelings of depression or anxiety. It also stabilizes children’s moods and reaction to different environments, thus improving their behavior.
• Improve self-esteem and happiness
Exercising regularly contributes to positive thoughts and feelings, thus improving their self-esteem and confidence. When they engage in fun physical activates with family and friends, it also helps them bond with people better and cultivate a sense that they have achieved something new and better. This leads to increased happiness and better emotional well-being overall.
Engaging in physical activity from a young age leaves a positive impact not just during childhood and teenage, but also as the children grow up. As pediatricians in Gaithersburg, MD explain, active children are healthier and happier children.
White Oak Pediatrics is a pediatric clinic based in Silver Spring and Gaithersburg, MD whose team of board certified pediatricians and nurse practitioners treat infants, toddlers, teens and adolescents. To learn more, visit WhiteOakPediatrics/Meet-Our-Providers.