- Help prevent obesity
Whether obesity and inactivity is caused by the popularity of video games or the declining hours of physical education in schools, it is a wake-up call for everyone. Fortunately, there are ways of reversing this growing trend and helping our children to enjoy daily exercise and outdoor activities, which they love given the opportunity.
Enhanced PA with or without a low-calorie diet, reduce % body fat or excess body weight in obese children and youth.
- Reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease
Based on some cross-sectional studies, children and adolescents who are physically active, or whose aerobic fitness is high, have a more favorable blood lipid profile than their sedentary, or less fit, peers. However, more beneficial responses have been shown for groups who have a high coronary risk.
Long term health benefit of exercise comprise strengthening of the entire cardiovascular system, including the heart and lungs. The heart develops a higher “pump-activity” while the child’s heart and lungs are strengthened, supporting the prevention of heart disease.
- Lower blood pressure
A number of community based studies have demonstrated that there is a strong positive relationship between body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure in children. Systolic blood pressure is significantly elevated in children within the upper percentiles of BMI relative to their leaner peers.
The benefits of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure in adults have been very well established. Recently, a large number of studies have emerged describing the influence of lifestyle interventions on various risk factors associated with high blood pressure in overweight and obese children.
- Increase blood flow
Exercise increases the blood flow to all body tissues, including the brain. Greater blood flow transports more oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells. Moreover, increased blood flow promotes the body’s transportation of the byproducts of metabolism and toxins back from the cells for elimination, recycling, or further use elsewhere. Children who exercise feel fitter and more energized because of their body’s ability to detoxify.
- Better skeletal development
The positive effects of exercise while growing up seem to last longer than previously believed. New findings suggest that physical activity when young increases bone density and size, which may mean a reduced risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Weight-bearing activities promote the growth of strong bones during childhood and adolescence and help prevent osteoporosis in adulthood.
- A stronger immune system
The body’s ability to fight disease is improved. Children are less prone to colds, allergies, and diseases.