Source: The Indian Express
Physical inactivity is now considered as the leading cause of global mortality. In children, it can lead to increased incidence of obesity and other lifestyle disorders. There is an alarming increase in obesity in children being observed in the last decade, which is secondary to either the lack of physical activity or overeating.
Physical activities in early childhood are critically important in helping reduce the increased health risks associated with obesity and overweight.
Physical activity and sports have immediate and habitual health benefits. The acute impact of a moderate to vigorous physical activity is to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, enhance cognitive alertness and function.
Regular physical activity can have a habitual impact on anxiety, deep sleep, executive functions like ability to plan, organize, inhibit or facilitate behaviours, and emotions control. It not only helps improve the processing speed but also upgrades the academic performance.
Preschool children of ages 3 to 5 years must be encouraged to engage in active play and in structured activities, such as throwing games and riding a bicycle or tricycle.
Children aged 6-17 years can enjoy substantial health benefits by doing moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity for up to 60 minutes or more every day, ranging from aerobic exercises to muscle and bone strengthening activities.
Physical sports not only help them grow physically but also upgrade their decision-making skills, social-emotional development by teaching team spirit, accepting wins and losses, and making friends.