Though you may think of physical activity as being something that people to do just to maintain or improve their physical well being, there are actually many mental benefits as well. Kids who take part in regular physical activity have repeatedly shown to be more confident, do better in school, relate well with other kids and avoid depression.

Physical activity is healthy for body AND mind

There are so many benefits to encouraging a child to be physically active. While you no doubt are aware that kids will build muscle, maintain a healthy weight, improve heart and lung health and keep their joints in top shape by being active, the positive results don’t end there. Taking part in some form of physical activity every day, whether that’s going for a walk or bike ride, joining a sports team or shooting hoops in the driveway, can help your child to thrive mentally as well.

At Burlington Basketball, we’re not just about playing ball. We love serving the Burloak area and Halton community by providing a positive outlet for kids. Exercise and the kids’ overall well being is what it’s all about. Learn more about our programs today!

  • Exercise is good for your brain

Regular exercise has been shown to promote brain function in several areas. Kids who play sports often experience improved motor skills like hand-eye coordination, display better critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as overall better school performance.

  • Physical activity is a mood booster

We often think of physical activity as the time spent dedicated to a specific active task like playing basketball, going for a walk or participating in playground games. However a recent study has shown that even light activity like that done while grocery shopping, doing chores or playing an instrument can actually work to reduce rates of depression in adolescents and young adults. When kids perform even light exercise feel good chemicals called endorphins are released in their bodies, helping to stave off the feelings of depression and low moods that can come from a mostly sedentary lifestyle.

  • It can help reduce anxiety

Anxiety in children is often the result of focusing too intently on specific things that worry them, so physical activity and sports can provide a way to shift focus and trick the mind into thinking about something else. When a child has to focus on the task at hand during a game or other physical activity, they will feel more relaxed towards the topic that was giving them anxiety in the first place. Try going for a walk or having a friendly game of basketball next time your child seems to have anxiety!

  • Physical activity helps improve body image and confidence

More important than how a child’s body looks is how they feel when they can perform activities like running, jumping, dancing and playing sports without struggling to breathe or move. When kids are taught to focus on this side of physical activity rather than what’s in the mirror, they will learn a powerful lesson about body image, self-esteem and confidence.

Team sports can help mental health, too

While we know that any kind of physical activity is essential for both mental and physical health, there are some specific mental health benefits than can come from playing team sports, too.

  • They can help kids make friends

Making new friends as a child can be difficult, especially for those entering a new school. Team sports like basketball are a great way for kids to find a group of friends, without having to search hard to find things they have in common. When kids join a team they are walking into a ready-made circle of friends and since they will have to learn how to rely on and trust each other on the court or field, the bond is formed rather quickly.

  • Kids learn to look up to their coaches

Having team coaches to listen to and learn from teaches kids that they should respect and appreciate those who try to guide them to success, both on the court and off.

Physical activity is an important part of mental health

Regardless of what kind of physical activity your child wants to take on, whether it’s regular light activity like doing chores, going for a casual walk or helping you out in the grocery store or something more strenuous like joining a basketball team, the positive effects on their mental health will be seen for years to come.