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Movement for Mental Health

Published: 05.02.2020

Just as exercise improves mental health for adults, so it is for kids. And just like us, when we’re not feeling great, or just having a ‘down’ day, the last thing they might want to do is some physical activity.

But have you ever noticed when your little person is ‘off’ or just ‘not in the mood’, you involve them in a game and before you know it, they’re having a great time?!

That’s because those feel good endorphins are being released while they’re playing and they’re improving your child’s mood, energy levels and they’re sleep!

Physical activity also reduces anxiety, improves relationships and improves body image.

If your child worries, physical activity and sports is a great way to shift their attention away from their anxiety and on to the task of playing the game. Not only does this immediately alleviate worries, but the long-term impact is developing new skills that bring a sense of accomplishment and greater self-confidence.

In the early years, as a parent, you are your child’s most important role model. Playing games with your child not only helps their physical development, but also their social skills like communicating, thinking and problem solving. Doing this in a safe environment with you builds the bond you share and their sense of worth and belonging.

Healthy, balanced habits start in the early years of your child’s life. Knowing that physical activity, as well as good nutrition, keeps their bodies fit and strong, rather than being concerned with how it might look, is a great way to build a positive body image. It’s a much more positive message for kids to understand that our bodies can do fun and amazing things when we’re fit and healthy!

Experts say that physical activity allows children to have a better outlook on life by building confidence, managing anxiety and depression, and increasing self-esteem and cognitive skills.

*Disclaimer*

I use various sources to write these news articles including the NHS (UK & Scotland), the Australian Govt. Dept. of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO), Harvard University childhood health articles and what I experience as a mum.