Many of the skills, habits, and beliefs that an individual carries with them throughout their life are learned when they are a child. That includes the discipline that is needed to stay active and continue meeting physical goals. Here are four ways that an active lifestyle will help your child’s physical, emotional, and mental development.
Exercising Improves Cognitive Abilities
Studies continue to show us that physical activities have a major impact on cognitive functions. One recent study conducted at Harvard Medical School revealed that 120 minutes of moderate exercise per week protects memories, reduces brain inflammation, and boosts critical thinking. Exercise is especially important during a child’s developmental years when they are still forming new neural pathways.
Avoiding Preventable Health Conditions
You will always need to schedule regular doctor's appointments for your child and take them to a medical professional when they are injured during a game, but those visits should be relatively rare. Professionals, like those who have a masters in nursing degree, will tell you that avoiding preventable problems is the smartest route to go. Preventable conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure could result in dozens of additional appointments and acute injuries every year. By keeping your child active, you will reduce their risk of developing dozens of preventable diseases.
Learning to Take Instructions
Children who are able to follow instructions from their superiors are going to do better on the field and in the classroom. While some individuality is always important, they need to realize when it is time to listen to those who might know more than them. The ability to absorb information from coaches, teachers, and bosses will be invaluable to an individual for the rest of their life.
Using Safety Equipment Properly
Safety equipment is there for a reason, and children who play sports will learn the value of properly using safety equipment. Whether it is putting on their seat belt after getting into the car with a friend or putting in a mouth guard before heading out onto the field, the use of that equipment should be second nature to them. Engaging in team sports and other physical activities will emphasize the importance of that equipment.
Everyone wants what is best for their children, but setting good examples and staying involved in a child’s life can be quite difficult for active parents. While keeping your kids active isn’t always going to be an easy process, it is important to remember that the characteristics you instill in them during their formative years will follow them for the rest of their lives.