2024年04月18日星期四
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What are the Benefits of Physical Activity for Children's Health?

What are the Benefits of Physical Activity for Children's Health?Every child can reap the rewards of physical activity, especially those who are naturally active. Exercise enha...

What are the Benefits of Physical Activity for children's Health?

Every child can reap the rewards of physical activity, especially those who are naturally active. Exercise enhances bone and muscle strength, helps maintain a healthy weight, and controls the accumulation of body fat; active children are less likely to be overweight. Physical activity reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, a condition that affects children as well; it also lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Regular aerobic exercise builds endurance, quickens heart rate and respiration, improves heart function, enhances blood circulation, and delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body.

Exercise has favorable effects on human metabolism. Research has revealed that exercise alters β-alanine metabolism, which in turn safeguards the body against metabolic disorders. β-alanine is a metabolic byproduct following exercise. Elevations in β-alanine levels during exercise promote fat burning, aiding in weight loss and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Blood levels of β-alanine are inversely correlated with blood sugar, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and body mass index.

Physical activity strengthens memory. Studies indicate that vigorous walks three times a week can increase the volume of the brain's memory center, the hippocampus. According to a report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a year-long exercise study revealed a 2% increase in the volume of the hippocampus and its core regions among participants. This change signifies a significant improvement in memory function. Another study involved 30 children practicing yoga breathing exercises for 10 days, resulting in a 43% increase in spatial memory scores.

Exercise reduces stress responses and lowers the risk of chronic illnesses. Children encounter stressors daily, and sedentary children often experience elevated secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. Conversely, most active children do not show an increase in cortisol secretion under the same circumstances. This suggests that exercise, by regulating stress responses, promotes emotional stability in children.

A recent Danish study found that participants who engaged in low-intensity physical activity during leisure time had a 10% lower risk of bacterial infections compared to habitual sedentary individuals. Moreover, participants engaging in moderate and low-intensity exercises had a 32% and 21% reduction in the risk of urinary tract infections, respectively. Physical activity also reduces the incidence of various diseases and mitigates the risk of premature death.

"Green exercise" for children is healthful. Research demonstrates that involving 9 to 10-year-old children in cycling activities, with one group watching videos of dynamic green forest paths while cycling, results in notable benefits. After 15 minutes of cycling, the average systolic blood pressure was 97 mmHg for the experimental group, compared to 102 mmHg for the control group after one hour. Lower blood pressure is linked to reduced cardiovascular disease incidence, while higher blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

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