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The Benefits of Physical Activity Classes

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 31 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Benefits Physical Activity Activities

There are a range of physical activity classes available for children of all ages and they bring with them an array of benefits. Here we highlight the key benefits for children.

Getting children interested in being physically active and having regular exercise is important, but it’s also good to do so in a way in which they enjoy it, it’s not forced and it’s something they want to carry on with. When they’re young, children are naturally active – as soon as they’re able to walk, they’re well away and want to be able to scoot off and explore things. Being active at this stage is great, as it gives children the chance to strengthen their key muscles, learn how their body works and what they’re capable of doing.

For young children, there are various physical activity-based classes available and they’re well worth exploring. Classes usually start accepting young children from when they’re able to toddle or walk and may contain children of various ages. With young children, parents may be encouraged to stay for the class, to help out with simple activities, but as a child gets older and more confident, there’s likely to be no need to stay.

A well run class should have a good proportion of teachers and official helpers to children – if there are a limited number of people officially helping, and you’re worried safety may be compromised, then you may be worth looking elsewhere.

The Benefits Children Can Gain

A good physical activity class will bring with it a host of benefits for a child. Initially the activities will be designed to help a child get to know their own body and what they’re capable of, but as they get older and progress on to further stages, they’re likely to consist of activities that promote certain skills, like flexibility or balance, or one type of activity that the child prefers and would like to learn more about.

Some of the benefits to be gained by children of all ages include:

  • Increased stamina.
  • Increased strength.
  • Good all-round use of muscles and improve muscle tone.
  • Better balance.
  • Improved coordination and catching and throwing skills.
  • Enjoyment of exercise.
  • Motivation.
  • Improved social and team work skills.

Many of these benefits can be gained by young children, as well as the older one who’ve been going for a while. For example, simple activities such as throwing a balloon or ball will help a child learn to catch and throw and improve their coordination skills, jumping and using a skipping rope will build up their stamina and running around or playing football will help boost strength and stamina.

Getting a child interested in physical activity offers a good foundation for the future. We all need exercise, but so often it’s easy for us to put it to second place when we’re older and not prioritise it as much as it should be. There’s a lot to be gained from instilling a sense of the importance of physical activity in a child and exercising and being active together as a family is a crucial helper too.

As your child gets older, they’re likely to hone in on activities that they particularly enjoy, like playing football, netball, horse riding or gymnastics, and you can help them continue to gain benefits by encouraging them in their activities and celebrating their achievements with them.

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