Physical activities are vital for a healthy lifestyle. And its importance is equal for everyone, but the intensity will be different for different age groups. As parents, you can encourage your child to participate in physical activities that are age-appropriate, enjoyable, and offer variety. According to the CDC, the following are the recommended Levels for Preschool-Aged Children- "Preschool-aged children (ages 3 through 5 years) should be physically active throughout the day for growth and development. Adult caregivers should encourage preschool-aged children to be active when they play."
Toddlers having to be active throughout the day doesn't mean that you have to be around them all the time for their needs; you can plan their games accordingly so that you wouldn't have to check on them all the time. There are several activities a child can do independently in a safe environment.
Here are the benefits of physical activities in children-
Strengthens the Heart
Like any other muscle, which significantly improves performance when challenged by exercise, the heart is also similar. The heart becomes stronger and more efficient with physical activities. Thus strengthening the heart muscle can help one keep heart diseases at bay.
Physical activity makes a child more active and energetic. It improves coordination between the brain and body. Physical activities can also establish a strong connection between different parts of the brain.
Sleep is equally or more vital than physical activities. Physically active children sleep faster because exercises can help to stabilize the child's mood and decompress the mind; it is a cognitive process that is important for sleep. Thus, kids who are involved in physical activities can fall asleep faster than other kids.
Endurance develops when kids regularly get aerobic activities. During aerobic exercises, muscles move, and the heart beats faster. Aerobic activity strengthens the heart and improves the body's ability to deliver oxygen to all its cells.
Aerobic exercises can be fun for both adults and kids. It includes bicycling, skating, swimming, etc.
Activities that encourage children to bend, stretch and reach, promote flexibility. Being flexible allows children to engage in daily activities without restrictions or pain from their muscles or joints. Being flexible develops good posture, prevents soreness and muscle stiffness. It relaxes the body faster, and the risk of injuries is low.
Yoga, skipping, digging on the beach, wall climbing, etc., are activities that promote flexibility.
A 2019 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that serotonin, a mood-regulating chemical the body produces, increases during exercise and can boost the energy and strength of our nerve cells, which may help ward off neurological disorders like Parkinson's Disease. Increased serotonin levels in the central nervous system are also associated with feelings of well-being, heightening appetite, and lessening mental depression.