Benefits of Regular Exercise - a Healthy Habit to Start and Keep

There is no question that exercise is good for growing children, and the earlier they start, the better. The key is finding activities they like to do, that are fun, and that get them moving! To improve health and burn fat, people should exercise 20 to 30 minutes three to five times a week. This means aerobic exercise - faster heart rate, increased breathing, muscles working. Aerobic exercise is steady, moderate exercise, not all-out effort. Most children usually have no problem accomplishing this since their activity levels tend to be higher than adults. And don't overlook the other benefits children will be receiving from exercise - including learning to share, making friends, and developing self-esteem. In addition, regular physical activity at any age can help children learn to play and meet challenges. Kids who enjoy sports and exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. And staying fit can help decrease the risk of serious illnesses (such as heart disease and stroke) later in life. More specially, regular physical activity benefits health in the following ways:

  • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely,
  • Reduces the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and high blood pressure,
  • Reduces feeling of depression and anxiety,
  • Helps control weight,
  • Helps increase muscular strength and flexibility for injury prevention,
  • Helps improve self-confidence and contributes to better body image and mood and to an overall improved sense of well-being,
  • Helps enhance self-esteem (the value the child places on himself/herself) and self-concept (the understanding the child has of himself/herself),
  • Increases the body's infection-fighting white blood cells and germ-fighting antibodies,
  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.


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