Physically active young people can do better in school and improve their self-expression, self-confidence and social interaction compared with more sedentary children (WHO 2017). Indeed, two studies published in 2017 underscore the value of children getting plenty of exercise.

The well-known life-improving benefits of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness also apply to children’s cognitive health. This study shows that for youth to gain optimal cognitive benefits from exercise, professionals should design programs that include aerobic and muscular fitness components.

Young children should be encouraged to remain physically active in order to reduce excess weight and obesity. This may help them combat adult obesity and better manage psychological life stressors.

Recommendations. Youth aged 5–17 should progressively accumulate a target of 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. At least 3 days a week, children’s physical activities should include bone-loader movements such as jumping, running and turning, which strengthen muscles and bones.

Let’s take a quick look at this research.

Exercise and Children: Better Brain Health, Less Obesity, Less Stress

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