As summer approaches, it is the perfect time to learn about the value of physical education and activity. Along with a healthy diet, an active routine is vital to a long and healthy lifestyle. It is important to instill the value of physical activity in young children through strong physical education and athletic programs, equipping them with the tools to lead a healthier life.
So why is physical activity so important? Here are some of the most impressive health benefits of daily exercise:
- Increased happiness. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, which produce positive feelings and elevate your happiness.
- Weight loss. Physical activity contributes to a speedy metabolism, allowing your body to break down food more efficiently, allowing you to achieve a healthy weight.
- Reduced risk of disease. Extensive research has proven an inverse correlation between the rate of exercise and the chance of chronic disease. More simply, the more you exercise, the lower your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart attacks.
- Improved sleep and relaxation. Regular physical activity helps to improve sleep patterns and contributes to higher energy levels throughout the day.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children and adolescents should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day.
Adding in an hour of physical activity each day may seem daunting, so to make incorporating physical fitness into your daily routine more manageable, the CDC broke it up into three categories:
- Also known as cardio, aerobic activity should make up most of your hour of physical activity each day, at least 3 days a week. Cardio-targeted activities should make your heart beat fast!
- Muscle-strengthening. Muscle-strengthening activities like weight lifting and resistance training cause the body’s muscles to work against a force, leading to muscle growth. It’s important to work on all major muscle groups throughout the body!
- Bone-strengthening. Bone-strengthening activities place forces on your bones to help them grow and strengthen. These activities, like running or weight-lifting, often overlap with aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
Along with physical improvements, an increase in physical activity has benefits that can be seen in the classroom as well, often resulting in improved grades and test scores, better student behavior, and an enhancement of social skills.
So, next time you go to turn on the TV, instead try going outside for a few minutes of physical activity and see the benefits for yourself!