Sports in Children
Encouraging your children to participate in sports and other physical activities keeps them active and alert. Sports improve a child’s body growth and mental wellbeing. You can encourage your child to participate in school sports activities or enroll them in clubs where they can spend their time on the weekends.
What is the Importance/Benefits of Sports in Children?
Sport / physical activity is beneficial for children in numerous ways. These include:
- Helps improve gait (body posture and walking style), balance and coordination
- Improves heart function
- Improves blood circulation
- Strengthens bones and muscles
- Improves stamina, immunity and body flexibility
- Keeps childhood obesity at bay
- Keeps children happier
- Minimizes stress and anxiety
- Fosters qualities like patience, confidence, work ethic, endurance, team spirit and leadership
How can you Keep Children Involved in Sports?
As a parent you can encourage involvement in sports in the following ways:
- Build a routine for them. Experts say children should spend a minimum of 60 minutes in daily sports activities.
- Limit their screen times on smartphones, devices, computers and television.
- Participate with them to keep it interesting.
Build a routine for children. They should begin each run with a gentle warm-up of 5-10 minutes. This could include body stretches, knee lifts and a brisk walk. Do not force your child to run for extended periods; just ensure that they run as long as is comfortable for them.
Try alternating runs with intermittent walking. When your child is able to run for long periods without exhaustion, you can increase the duration. Allow rest periods as needed.
Benefits/Advantages of Running in Children
Running offers the following benefits to children:
- It strengthens thighs and leg muscles.
- It helps build stamina and immunity to disease.
- It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
- It helps to promote long-term physical health.
Water sports such as swimming provide lots of fun and enjoyment to children. It keeps their entire body engaged instead of focusing on a single body part. It also helps burn the extra calories that children consume in their diet. The energy spent in swimming can also help your child get a good night sleep.
Benefits/Advantages of Swimming in Children
The other advantages of swimming include:
- Improves body flexibility
- Improves balance and coordination
- Helps strengthen bones and muscles
- Elevates mood, decreases stress
- Improves blood flow
- Enhances mental development
Children can take swimming classes in their schools or in after-school clubs. However, they should always be under supervision of a trained swimmer when they are around water, even after they have learned how to swim to avoid water-related injuries or drowning.
Cycling is another fun way to involve children in sports. Toddlers can be given toy cycles that help them practice cycling in the early stages. As they grow in size, you can provide them with appropriate bicycle. It is advisable to set a specific routine for children to avoid putting them under excessive physical exertion.
Benefits/Advantages of Cycling in Children
The various health benefits of cycling include:
- Improves muscle performance - especially thighs, legs and abdomen
- Helps maintain body weight by increasing metabolic rate
- Improves blood flow to various parts of body
- Prevents heart and lung/respiratory diseases
- Improves overall fitness
In addition to improving physical fitness, cycling also helps improve mood and relieves stress in children. It helps them balance their body and improve coordination. Cycling with their friends and siblings helps them bond well and enjoy good quality time together.