It is a well-known fact that exercise supports our physical health, but it’s also great for our mental health too. During Mental Health Awareness Week, this blog explores why exercise makes children feel good and enhances their overall wellbeing.
When children are active and moving their bodies, whether through exercise or play, ‘feel good’ chemicals known as endorphins are released. Endorphins act as natural relievers of stress and also help to improve mood, energy and sleep. This helps alleviate anxiety in children and boosts their energy levels, resulting in improved overall emotional wellbeing. It has become increasingly common for children to spend long periods of time engaging in sedentary activities such as doing homework, online learning or playing games looking at a screen. Now, more than ever, we need to encourage children to move their bodies and release those all-important endorphins.
As well as releasing endorphins, exercise makes children feel good because it’s fun! At Gymfinity Kids we want to lay the foundations for a happier, healthier nation. To achieve this goal, it is vital that children learn to enjoy being active and move their bodies from an early age. Whether children master a forward roll, learn how to do a cartwheel or balance on the beam (with help of course!), having fun when exercising is something everyone should aspire to. By balancing fun and development in equal measure, children can learn to love exercise and enjoy all its benefits.
Activity and sport give children and young people a place to feel they belong and an important sense of community – whether that’s a space in a school sports team or at an after-school club. By enjoying activities with friends it can help to build children’s teamwork skills and to combat feelings of loneliness that they might be experiencing.
Just like adults, not all children are natural extroverts, but it is important to encourage them to socialise and partake in activities that offer a sense of community. Structured activities such as drama, Guides, Scouts or gymnastics are particularly good because they offer a seamless and enjoyable way for children to exercise and make friends.
Being part of a community also helps to improve children’s self-esteem. We want to make exercise as fun and enjoyable as possible for children of all ages and abilities and our recreational activity classes encourage children to be active without any competitive pressure. As children explore their capabilities and push their boundaries, their skills improve, which has a hugely positive effect on their confidence.
Each session adds a positive experience to children’s weekly routine and each of our classes is so much fun that kids almost won’t realise they are picking up essential life lessons such as building resilience, respecting others and the importance of trying their best. The importance of self-confidence cannot be underestimated and makes children feel good in all aspects of their lives.