Physical activity is important for a child’s growing body

Children’s muscles, bones and emotional health can be improved with physical activity.

With warmer spring weather on the horizon in Michigan, there will hopefully soon be opportunities to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Spring is the perfect time to renew your spirit and enjoy some time with your kids. Michigan State University Extension recommends physical activity because it is important to the health of adults, but it’s also important for kids.

It is recommended by the American Heart Association that:

  • All children age 2 and older participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied.
  • If your child or children do not have a full 60 minute activity break each day, try to provide at least two 30 minute periods or four 15 minute periods in which they can engage in vigorous activities appropriate to their age, gender and stage of physical and emotional development.

Children’s muscles, bones and emotional health can be improved with physical activity. Children’s muscles need to be used to grow and become stronger. Aerobic exercise helps the heart to become and stay strong. Children’s bones are not fully developed until the late teen years. Bone strength is built when bones are forced to bear weight and work against gravity; these activities also help to build muscles. Weight bearing activities like walking, running, basketball, soccer and dancing are good for bones and muscles. KidsHealth says that “when you exercise, your brain releases a chemical called endorphins, which may make you feel happier.” Physical activity can help an adult or child feel happier and be in a better mood.

Physical activity is good for overall health. In children it is necessary for a strong body, including muscles and bones. Getting the blood pumping throughout the body can also help with mood and emotional health. Use the opportunities that nature provides and get outside and get moving with your children. Physical activity will not only benefit your body, but also your child’s growing body.

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