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  • Writer's pictureBankstown Physiotherapy

Why is it important to promote an active lifestyle within children?

We hear it all the time; exercise, a balanced lifestyle, a good diet and a healthy social life are key elements that anyone needs to promote not only physical happiness, but also strong emotional and mental health. Though, despite the significant statistics showing the need to maintain this form of lifestyle as an adult, it is significantly more important that we promote this type of culture within children from an early age.

But what is the difference between promoting a healthy lifestyle in adults to promoting one in children?

1. Exercise can assist in the maintenance of a healthy weight

Enrolling our children in weekly sport or prompting them to engage in school sporting activities is an incredibly effective way to assist in the management of their weight in order to maintain a healthy BMI. Children can burn calories at a much faster pace than adults and engaging them with regular sport will enable their bodies to maintain a healthy fat to muscle ratio. Though it must be noted that exercise alone is not enough to ensure a healthy lifestyle for our children, and we must be conscious of their diets, promoting healthy eating and correct portion sizes always.

2. Improvement of cardiovascular health

While it may not seem that growing children must be conscious of their cardiovascular health, building a strong culture of exercise within families, particularly those with young children is able to reduce risk factors of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes later in life.

3. Strengthened balance, flexibility, and coordination

It may seem that these skills will come naturally to all children, however, despite the necessity of these skills in everyday life, several children struggle with balance, flexibility and co-ordination due to a lack of physical activity. This can have significant ramifications throughout a child’s entire lifetime as it may impair their ability to walk and perform basic everyday tasks. Through regular exercise children will become more familiar with movement and will build the strength they require to be well coordinated, flexible and balanced during their daily routines.

4. Allows for development of gross and fine motor skills

Motor skills involve those skills which are more refined, particularly movements within the muscles and hands. Through regular exercise, especially ball sports, children will acquire and maintain the skills that they need to perform refined tasks such as writing, feeding themselves and buttoning a shirt.

5. Improvement of posture

A culture of sports and exercise within children can help straighten spines and prevent slouching. Children who do not regularly engage in physical activity will generally be more susceptible to por posture and will hence be more likely to experience neck pain, back pain and headaches.

6. Improvement of confidence

Many sports for children; such as football or netball, require team-work and strong communication. Enrolling your child in this kind of weekly sport, whether it be outside or through schooling institutes can help boost their self-confidence due to the positive atmosphere that these environments are able to create.

7. Development of social skills and providing opportunities to make friends

Social sport can allow children to become stronger communicators and in turn allow them to be more confident within their personal lives. This is because they can meet new people and form groups of friendships due to the importance of teamwork within games and activities.

As mentioned, exercise is an incredibly important aspect to all people’s lives, however, for children it is able to have significant benefits to all areas of their health and hence promote a more well-rounded lifestyle during their progression from childhood to adulthood. To find out more about the type of exercises that are well suited to children or more about the importance of such exercises, contact us on 9793 3119, or visit our website

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