Different types of physical activity – whether it is purposeful (structured) play or spontaneously (unstructured) free play – serves as a channel to allow their energy outburst in a meaningful way. Their engagement in physical activity is essential to their healthy growth and holistic development. Being physically active from young lays the foundation for a healthy lifestyle in future, so why wait now? Let them move! Even helping out in simple house chores can be considered as a physical activity.
Here are five reasons to get your child moving.
1. Sweat it out – Healthy fitness
Moderate to high intensity active play activities and sports such as chasing games, running, cycling, swimming, roller-blading, soccer and basketball makes your child sweat, which is good for the body system. Sweating helps to release toxins, improve blood circulation and speed up metabolism. It enhances your child’s immune system and is associated with improved heart and lung functions. According to the National Physical Activity Guidelines (2013), your child is likely to maintain a healthy weight as regular physically active burns calories and fat more easily.
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2. Think it aloud – Cognitive stimulation
Research shows that physical activity and fitness contributes positively to academic achievement. Physical fitness may enhance children’s concentration, classroom behaviour, brain and cognitive functioning which leads to better academic performance. In fact, when your child is engaged in physical activity, they are constantly thinking of creative ways or strategies to better their body coordination or skills. Your child’s social speech will also be improved as the need to converse with other participants during active play activities is involved.
3. Laugh it out – Mental relaxation
Allow your child to engage regularly in physical activities of their interest. When they are having fun moving around, they will be happier a relaxed mind. This will gradually improve the quality in your child’s sleep. Moreover, regular physical activities help to relieve stress and anxiety. So if your child has been participating in physical activities on a regular basis, chances are it will serves as a healthy outlet for proper release of negative emotions energy.
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4. Strengthen it out – Physical strengthening
Locomotor, object control and stability are some of the key movement skills that are necessary for your child to perform and enjoy the wide range of sports and other physical activities pursuits in their growing years. Your child will develop high self-esteem when they confidently perform these skills. Moreover, when your child moves their body more often, not only will the bones and muscles structure be strengthened, the ability in controlling and coordinating body movement will also be improved.
5. Playing around – Psychosocial growth
Keeping fit by engaging in physical activities that involves other participants is a great way to boost your child’s social skills. When your child works out together with other peers, they will have the opportunity to develop self and social awareness, recognise their own strengths and weakness, and other’s needs and feelings too. Your child’s social competence will increase as they learn to take turns, resolve conflicts and play by rules. At the same time, new friendships may be forged.
By Jessica Teo, Curriculum Executive with Kinderland Educare Services Pte Ltd
This was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.
For more information, go to kinderland.com.sg