With the advent of technological advances come a considerable concern for sedentary behaviour in children. The ease of obtaining addictive entertainment through technological devices can easily result in a reduction in physical activity in children growing up today.
During a time when the body is undergoing rapid and wide-ranging physical and physiological changes, the lack of physical activity in a child’s lifestyle may affect their future health and well-being. Parents looking to give the best to their children should encourage an active lifestyle that facilitates physical development, such that children can enjoy the many health and well-being benefits that proper physical development entails.
Health and Well-Being Benefits
Physical activity holds many benefits for a child’s growth and development.
In terms of health, regular engagement in physical activity can help strengthen the heart, lungs, bones and muscles in children. With improved muscle tones, strength, and bone density, children are much less likely to suffer from diseases such as heart illnesses and osteoporosis in the long run. Lowered cholesterol levels resulting from regular physical activity can also reduce blood pressure and strengthen blood vessels.
Activities that facilitate physical development in children can also help regulate blood sugar levels, significantly reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. They also ensure healthy development of motor skills and reflexes in children, resulting in improved body coordination and overall performance that impacts almost all areas of a child’s growth, from the nuanced movements required in writing with a pen to the ability to better regulate their emotions.
Other health benefits entailed by physical development in preschool children include:
- Increased energy levels
- Better weight control
- Improved posture
- Enhanced balance and flexibility for injury prevention
Proper physical development in preschool children also facilitates the child’s well-being. Engagement in physical activity releases chemicals in the brain that make children feel good and grant them an overall sense of well-being. Children who exercise more regularly on their own or are involved in sports programs tend to exhibit a calmer disposition and are less stressed and more resilient.
Regular exercise also encourages better sleep, which in itself holds a whole plethora of well-being benefits. Other well-being benefits entailed by physical development in preschool children include:
- Increased self-confidence
- Better ability to concentrate at school
- Enhanced social and communication skills
- Improved understanding of sharing and taking turns
How Much is Enough?
In short, any activity that involves children moving their bodies can be considered physical activity. For optimal levels of physical development in preschool children, it is recommended that they are physically active for at least 180 minutes a day, with at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
Anything that gets your child gently huffing and puffing can be considered a moderate physical activity. Vigorous physical activity, on the other hand, should get your child huffing and puffing a lot more, and sweating from physical exertion.
Recommended Physical Activities for Children
Here are some recommended physical activities of varying exertion levels that can facilitate physical development in your preschool child:
Light Physical Children Activities
- Leisure strolls
- In-door sports such as bowling or billiard
- Playing a musical instrument
- Playing with blocks and other objects
Moderate Physical Children Activities
- Brisk walking
- Leisure cycling
- Kite flying
- Playground activities
- Throwing and catching
Vigorous Physical Children Activities
- Running games, such as “catch” or “tag”
- Riding a bike fast
- Organised sports, such as basketball, soccer, etc.
Ensure Your Child Enjoys Holistic Development with MindChamps AU
MindChamps PreSchools in Australia combine outdoor physical activity with fundamental concepts from multiple literacies, numeracy, and social and emotional development to nurture physical development in preschool children while imbuing them with a Champion Mindset.