Kids active in sports have more than physical benefits


When children play sports, it not only helps keep them fit and healthy, but also helps them make friends and learn important life values. — TNS

An important tool for keeping kids healthy is participation in youth sports, and it’s not just because of physical activity.

There are the obvious physical benefits when kids play sports.

It improves cardiovascular (heart) health and prevents obesity.

But that’s not all.

“There can be social benefits where you make friends.

“You have an opportunity to connect with other people,” says Mayo Clinic paediatric sports medicine specialist Dr David Soma.

He adds that there are also emotional benefits.

“So you learn ... that teamwork piece or that perseverance – learning how to win, learning how to lose.”

Dr Soma says a way to get your kids involved in sports is to start young by just getting them active and outdoors.

“We live in a society where people want to stay inside and stare at screens,” he says.

“But get outside. Go for a bike ride as a family. Go for a run. Kick the ball around the yard.

“Just get them moving and seeing what they like to do.”

And don’t focus on just one individual sport, especially at a younger age.

“There’s really good evidence that you should not do that,” says Dr Soma.

“It’s best to have a kid in the elementary (primary) school-aged years really do multiple sports.

“Expose them to as many different things that they’re interested in as possible.” – By Jason Howland/Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service

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