How does physical activity impact growth and development?

The pandemic may have brought the world to a standstill, but that doesn't have to put a lockdown on an individual’s physical activity. Especially for children, who are in the growing phase of their lives, exercise is essential in their daily routine. To spread awareness about this and to help aid athletes in training, Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) joined hands with UK Elite Sports Group (UKESG) - one of the most trusted names in the UK to provide youth sports coaching, sports tours, and coach education - conducted an online webinar programme. The session was conducted by Matt Lewis, Head of Training & Development at the UKESG.

Matt started the session on the importance of activity during the lockdown. Physical activity has benefits beyond physiological development.

A child who is physically active:

  • Performs better academically
  • Develops memory
  • Has better attendance
  • Has improvements in behaviour

Matt extracted a few facts to support the benefits. These included:

  • Children with higher levels of physical activity have higher grades.
  • Physically fit students recall nearly twice the information.
  • Children need at least 1 hour of physical activity.

However, numbers suggest that children have screentime of more than 7.5 hours a day. This further leads to 2 out of 3 kids being inactive. This cultural shift needs to be rectified for a child to get the best lifestyle in their growing age.

Lockdown has been a hindrance to everyone’s physical activity. However, it is necessary to keep oneself moving and active. Matt explained, maintaining a degree of physical activity and fitness during lockdown has been shown to enhance the efficiency of the neural pathways responsible for cognitive control, memory, and attention.

Matt further explained the physiological and mental benefits of exercising during the lockdown.

Some of the physical benefits are:

  • Increased stamina
  • Better sleep
  • Makes feel healthy and fit
  • Increases energy levels
  • Increases confidence and self-esteem
  • Increases bones and muscles strength
  • Efficient functioning of the heart

Mental benefits of exercise are:

  • Helps relax
  • Relieves stress
  • Reduces depression
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Boosts brain power
  • Improves mood

The session was concluded with an emphasis on physical activity during this lockdown. The impact it has on children and the physiological and mental benefits. Keeping these in mind, one can build a healthier and fitter generation.

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How does physical activity impact growth and development?

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