Taking part in regular healthy fitness activities provides a lot of benefits to children and adolescents. It has been found that engaging in regular physical activity helps children to develop their health and well-being in addition to reducing their chances of developing diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, blood pressure or heart diseases.
According to Robertson (2012), health and well-being and physical activities should comprise the daily routine of children. Research shows that obesity has the capacity to compromise the immune system and ability to fight infections and disease among children who do not engage in healthy fitness activities. As Robertson states, it is easy to avoid obesity than correcting it.
Similarly, studies have found that children who do not actively engage themselves in healthy fitness activities are highly likely to become overweight, have weak bones and muscles, develop type 2 diabetes, and have lower blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels.
Children who do not engage in healthy fitness activities have high risks of socio-emotional problems such as increased incidences of anxiety and depression, and low self-esteem as a result of being overweight. Studies show that children to do not engaging in healthy fitness activities are less likely to block distract themselves from negative thoughts and worries, which contributes to low self esteem and not easily socializing with others.
Building blocks activities help children to develop competence in their movement skills (NAEYC, 2006). It is important to ensure that preschoolers have at least 60 minutes of unstructured healthy fitness activities daily and not sitting for more than one hour without engaging in a physical activity (CYFERnet, 2013). It is important that preschoolers have indoor and outdoor space that meet or pass the required safety standard to allow children engage in gross and fine motor skill activities (NAEYC, 2006).
CYFERnet (2013). Keeping kids active in the winter months. Retrieved from http://www1.cyfernet.org/hotnew/01-12-activekids.html
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2006, May). Resources for encouraging good nutrition and physical fitness. Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web. Retrieved fromhttp://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200605/ResourcesBTJ.pdf
Robertson, C. (2012). Safety, nutrition, and health in early education (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.