Fitness Activites for your children during the summer – keeping kids fit
Organized sports for children is relatively new. Physical activity used to be a regular part of life, and games and sports were a physical outlet that was usually child driven and not organized by adults. As adult sports evolved throughout the 20th century, more organized sporting activities filtered down to children, starting with high school sports participation and then moving toward younger and younger children and reaching out to women and girls. There are now organized sporting activities for children and even infants.
Children who participate in sports can also reap emotional benefits when they are given positive sporting role models and experiences. From sports children “learn the value of practice and the challenge of competition,” and these are lessons that children can learn to apply to other non-sporting parts of their lives. Given the right examples, children can also use sports to create a healthy self-image and a positive view of their body.
Organized sports allows children to learn physical skills in a relatively safe environment, with adults who are charged with maintaining the rules and safety of the participants. The American Academy of pediatrics states that “In contrast to unstructured or free play, participation in organized sports provides a greater opportunity to develop rules specifically designed for health and safety.” Sports also give children the opportunity to be physically active and develop a healthy lifestyle that supports their athletic endeavors. Physical activity as children can help lessen their risk of developing adult diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Children who participate in sports can learn social skills such as taking turns and teamwork. They can also learn about responsibility to a team and how everyone needs to do their part for the team to be successful. Through sports, children learn how to take direction from a coach and adapt to different situations. Also, through sports, children have the opportunity to make friends with other kids with similar physical interests.
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