Physical Activity and Exercise in Youth Mental Health Promotion
Exercise is a great way to lift your mood and is especially important for kids to help them maintain good mental health. It is vital to encourage your kids to participate in physical activity for mentality maintenance and improvement. We give you some reasons why exercise is so crucial for kids.
Rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions among young people have risen gradually for several years. Experts believe there are many potential causes for this, including increased screen time and decreased time spent outdoors. However, the impact of physical activity on mental health is significant and should not be overlooked, especially in young people. So how, and why should we promote physical activity for mental benefits in young people?
Why Is Physical Activity for Mentality Important in Young People?
Physical activity mental health articles show that children need up to an hour of exercise every day. This can be taken in short bursts or in a block, such as a game of football or a dance class. Physical activity is not only good for children’s bodies – helping their muscles and bones develop – but also plays a role in developing social relationships and in building confidence.
In fact, physical activity and mental health are inextricably linked and play a huge role in promoting good mental health in young people. What’s more, general exercise through play is a great way for them to use up some of their energy and relieve mental stress. Exercising together also allows your kids to spend time with you and promotes the idea of exercise as a fun experience.
Physical Activity Mental Benefits
Physical activity for mentality has a whole host of benefits. From improving anxiety and depression to aiding sleep and academic performance. Here are just 5 great reasons why you should encourage kids to exercise:
1. To Manage Mental Health Symptoms
Physical activity causes the body to release endorphins. Endorphins are often referred to as the ‘happy’ hormone because they lift your mood. In fact, exercise can be so effective for mood regulation that doctors even prescribe it to ease mental health symptoms. If your child suffers from depression or anxiety, regular physical activity for mental benefits could improve their general mood and help them relieve stress.
2. To Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Children need good, deep sleep in order to grow, mentally process new information, and maintain good energy levels. When children are inactive, they often do not burn enough energy to help them sleep through the night. Screen time can also negatively impact sleep and lead to your child feeling drowsy or underperform at school. Daily physical activity for mental focus has been shown to work because it promotes sleep, which helps with learning.
3. To Develop Healthy Habits
Exercise isn’t just important for kids, it’s vital for adults to stay active as we age. Starting a healthy relationship with exercise will stand your kids in great stead for adult life. Try to create a consistent exercise schedule by walking and playing with your kids, or encourage them to participate in team sports. This will help them see exercise as fun and reap the physical activity for mental benefits as they get older.
4. To Build Social Relationships
Team sports are a great social outlet, especially for kids who may feel isolated or struggle with mental health. While you should, of course, take your child’s individual needs into consideration, joining a team may help them feel accepted and let them have fun with their peers. This is ideal for kids who struggle to make friends as it gives them a structured way to socialize where the aim is to work together with their teammates.
5. To Build Confidence and Resilience
Learning a new sport or building fitness, in general, is a challenge. While it might be tempting to let kids stay in their comfort zone, challenges will help build resilience – a key factor when managing mental health. As much as it may be tough at first, as your kid improves, they will begin to enjoy overcoming obstacles and will gain self-confidence.
It can be a challenge to talk to your child about mental health and to know the best way to help them. With the introduction of physical activity, mental issues often become easier to manage. Get active with your family today and see if any of these techniques can benefit you!
Do you find a physical activity for mentality and mental health benefits you or your kids? Which type of exercise do your kids prefer? Let us know in the comments!