The benefits of regular physical activity for kids are well-documented.

Maintaining a lifestyle that includes the right amount of physical activity is extremely important to overall health, especially for kids. When children are young, healthy habits like regular exercise create a strong foundation for good health. That foundation serves them well as they get older. 

Look around. Unfortunately, too many people are living sedentary and isolated lives. This tendency gets worse as people age. It’s partly due to changes in our health, leisure activities, office work and online resources. 

If parents can get their children up and moving early in life, here are some short and long-term benefits. 

Mental Health

Physical activity improves mood, outlook and overall mental health. 

Staying active reduces stress by providing space for youngsters to think and reflect while doing other things. According to the American Psychological Association, exercise has a positive effect on kids’ world view and may have protective features for their mental health over time.

This is why pediatricians and therapists often recommend regular exercise routines when a child experiences mood changes. Even moderate physical fitness, like walking around the block, releases chemicals in the brain that make people feel better. 

Activities help kids of all ages regulate their emotions and look at problems differently.

Social Skills Development

Physical activity for kids almost always entails some kind of group play. This helps them develop social skills. 

Organized team sports require kids to learn and hone their ability to communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. They learn the value of working together to achieve a common goal. Kids also better understand cooperation when performing drills in basketball, soccer, flag football and other team sports.

Pick-up games are great, too. Like-minded parents can form neighborhood groups. This is an informal way to introduce these social themes without pressure or forced competition. Teams don’t have to be organized and can often be more fun when they’re casual groupings. 

For most parents though, work or other scheduling conflicts during the day can make it difficult to find peer groups for their kids. Enrolling them in a scheduled program, like sports camp or after-school program, can be the best thing for everyone. Coaches or instructors are vetted and health and safety protocols are in place. Parents have peace of mind knowing their kids are in good hands. 

Health Management Training

Being physically active is a way of teaching kids about their body and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This gives them the tools they need for managing their health long term. 

Many adults find that by the time they recognize the relationship between nutrition, portion control, and activity levels – they are older and must break lifelong habits. This can be difficult. 

Instead, we can teach kids early on about how food and exercise are a better alternative to a sedentary lifestyle. That awareness helps them understand what they need to stay healthy for the rest of their lives. 

Most sports programs focus on education as much as they do on athletic skill-building. Throughout a child’s experience, he/she/they will gain the knowledge needed to make better choices and attain different age-related fitness goals. 

The more children know about fitness and overall health, the more likely they are to maintain healthy habits over time. 

Make it fun

physical activity

As with anything related to child-rearing, taking something necessary and making it fun is a winning combination. 

Parents who apply pressure on the field or court, often repel their kids rather than engage them. They can turn a game into a nightmare by making it a performance-based chore or too competitive. 

Instead, parents with happy and active children tend to focus on the enjoyable parts of the activity. This allows children to see physical exercise as something they want to do rather than something they’re being forced to do. 

Thriving in an environment where they are both having fun and maintaining their overall health in a sustainable way is the goal. 

Implementing the many benefits to physical activity ensures that kids stay healthy and have a good time. 

KidztoPros helps support positive physical health with a complete catalog of summer camps for kids in preschool up to 8th grade. Combined with afterschool programs available throughout the year, there is no shortage of activities keeping kids physically active and happy.  


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