Most people know exercise is good for kids, but do they know why? Not usually. Below, we’ve outlined some of the specific ways exercise helps kids develop healthy bodies, brains, and bones.

  1. Adopting good exercise habits at a young age reduces kids’ risk of developing some diseases later in life. For example, studies have shown that colon, prostate, uterine and breast cancer risk is reduced by exercise. By starting healthy exercise habits early on, your child will be well on their way to reducing their risk of disease.
  2. Thanks to its ability to release serotonin and endorphins, exercise helps children’s mental well-being.
  3. In addition to its emotional effects, endorphin release, like that provided by exercise, improves alertness and cognition. One study even showed that kids who exercised 10-20 minutes before a math test performed better than kids who were inactive before the exam.
  4. Exercise prompts muscles to transform glucose in the bloodstream into energy. This reduction of sugar in the blood lowers kids’ risk of diabetes.
  5. Kids’ self-confidence and motor skills both get a great boost from steady exercise.
  6. Bones develop through a person’s mid-20s, so it’s key to ensure healthy bone development at a young age. Exercise helps strengthen bones and increase bone density. This helps prevent osteoporosis later in life.
  7. Team sports are a wonderful way to help children develop key interpersonal skills needed in all areas of life.
  8. Aerobic exercise has interesting neurological benefits. Not only will it help prevent brain tissue loss as your child grows old, it boosts substances essential for the growth of brain cells, spurs the birth of new neurons, and increases the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that helps with memory, spatial navigation, and the regulation of emotions.
  9. Exercise strengthens the heart, and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. These benefits will help protect your child from heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among American adults according to the US Department of Human Services.

Incredible information, isn’t it? We hope this article inspires you to get your children (and yourself!) out there and moving. And if you need some extra motivation, treat everyone to a few fitness-ready finds from our athletic apparel section! Or, help girls get the exercise they need by shopping our Girls on the Run Collection.