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In today’s day and age, physical activities and sports have not been prioritised. Parents tend to forget that children need to exercise to keep fit and boost their immune system. A child’s physical development is equally as important as their intellectual growth, if not more. According to The National Associations for Sport and Physical Education, physical activities help children grow mentally, socially and physically.

Participating in sports is not just about physical benefits. Studies have shown that engaging in sports has many positive life lessons, as it teaches children how to be part of a team, socialise with peers, and be disciplined. This would also help build friendships and networks, as children are socialising with peers who have similar interests and skills. Studies have shown that children who play sports perform better in school.

Undeniably, there are many benefits of participating in sports, but, it is important that we do not lose sight that physical activity is also a necessity to an individual’s mental and emotional health. A study from Boston University School of Public Health found that exercising at a young age could reduce the risk of depression, as exercising reduces stress.

Academic research proves that adolescent athletes were found to have lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-athletes. This is because indulging in fun physical activity or team sports is a positive distraction compared to dealing with life challenges. This temporary break from stress is important, as it prevents people from getting bogged down by negative thoughts.  From the health science perspective, exercising produces endorphins, which triggers a positive feeling in the body. This will leave people feeling empowered, relaxed and optimistic after a good workout session.

Finally, exercising is the answer to poor sleep habits. After exercising, one will experience fatigue, which will help them sleep better.  As a result, a good night’s sleep will boost a person’s morale and mental health. Parents who are working from home during this pandemic should plan a set of fun physical exercises or activities that can be done at home with the family. It does not matter where the activity is conducted. The main priority is to enjoy the moment as a family.