When the idea of children pops into the mind, it’s likely the words playing and fun come to the forefront as well. Playing is an essential physical activity that children should be doing day-to-day. To some, it can come naturally, but to others, it may be difficult to get them off the couch. However, playing comes with many more benefits than you may think.
Along with getting children moving, so they can let out pent-up energy, playing also pushes them to be social with other kids. Additionally, it can help build confidence in the child at a young age and allow them to learn skills on their own. The biggest benefit, though, is on their physical health. Running around and playing sports allows kids to become fit and active, helping key organs like their heart, while having fun.
Here are five reasons playing is important for your child’s heart health:
Starts to Strengthen Muscle And Bones
In the act of playing, and ultimately exercising, children can grow their muscles and bone. Monkey bars and other simple climbing equipment on playgrounds do this without the kids even realizing it.
Encouraging physical activity early should help with the growth of bone density and mass while strengthening their muscles lowers their chance of injury while playing. Getting their bones strong, and keeping them that way can help prevent things like osteoporosis when they’re older.
The act of being up and moving can have profound benefits on the body, compared to being still. Simply walking or jumping can help burn unnecessary calories in the body. Going to a playground or on a family walk is much more beneficial than camping in front of a TV for hours when it comes to a child’s heart and weight.
Controlling one’s weight is incredibly helpful to heart health, and particularly pertinent in ensuring a child’s future health. It aids in blood flow to the heart; thus, keeping the heart pumping at the speeds and amounts it needs to. This can help improve metabolism and prevent the formation of clots.
Thankfully, if heart issues are to arise in children during physical activity, there is medical equipment specifically designed for smaller bodies. For example, in the case of a sudden cardiac arrest, there are specialized pediatric electrode pads designed to deliver a smaller amount of energy, so as not to harm the child. The aed child pads placement will differ from brand to brand, but correct positioning is vital to ensure the correct number of joules are delivered
Assists Arteries And Lungs
On top of helping weight control, playing can help with the health of a children’s arteries and lungs as well. Playing can help keep fat and other harmful substances like cholesterol out of the blood. This helps protect against high blood pressure and the onset of heart-related diseases.
Playing in a park, jumping on a trampoline and even dancing can help a child keep their blood pressure in check. That way, the heart will stay in better shape, along with the rest of the body. Plus, this can help the child play for longer and not tire out as fast as they may have in the past.
Helps With Energy Levels
While some kids seem to have an endless amount of energy, if they’re not able to use it, this is a sure-fire way to end up with a sluggish and cranky kid at the end of the day. Keeping the heart and mind active throughout the day will help regulate their energy and keep them less tired afterward.
This will be beneficial to the circulation of blood throughout the body and in the long run, will help the heart run more smoothly.
Good Cognitive Health And Emotional Intelligence Helps The Heart
When a child plays, a lot of different things are happening at once. They could be learning a new skill, meeting new people, or defeating a task they found scary the day before. All of these things can boost a child’s confidence. It can also trigger new emotions the child may have yet to experience, such as empathy, and creativity. While this is a cognitive skill, first and foremost, this sort of brain development may also help heart health.
Encouraging kids to play, especially with other kids their age, can be a milestone in their growing life. It gives them an opportunity to choose their own decisions and live out the consequences that may come from it. This positive environment may help lower any heart troubles. In fact, one UK study, in particular, looked at over 8,000 people and found that those who indicated they were optimistic and had good well-being had a 30% less chance of developing heart disease.
Simply by letting children run around in the backyard, or play in a sandbox with other kids, you’re helping their heart. Not only will they have fun by staying active, but they’ll also get a great head start for later in life.