Being active is good for your son’s physical development, his learning at school and emotional health. The Department of Health recommends that children aged 5 to 12 years need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, which includes a variety of aerobic exercise, as well as activities that strengthen muscle and bone. As a parent, you should encourage your son to stay active and strive towards a healthy lifestyle to help maintain positive health and wellbeing.
The benefits of exercise are endless. Here are our top reasons to encourage your son to stay active.
1. Health and development
Staying active promotes healthy growth and development — helping your son to develop strong muscles, bones and good posture. It allows him to maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risks of high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and type 2 diabetes. Your son’s cardiovascular health, balance, flexibility, strength, as well as gross and fine motors skills are improved when he is active. Healthy habits now also mean that your son will be more likely to carry them on into the future.
2. Concentration and memory
Exercise has been proven to benefit mental wellbeing by improving memory and thinking skills. It helps to produce the right chemicals in the brain that affect the health of the brain cells, the development of new blood vessels, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. Staying active also improves your son’s sleep, mood and energy levels, which in turn reduces stress and anxiety.
3. Friendship and socialisation
Taking part in team activities or sports provides opportunities for your son to create friendships and helps with his social development. He will learn the importance of teamwork, communication and trust, offering a good basis for friendships to flourish over common ground.
There are many activities your son can easily partake in and some can even be done in your own backyard or at your local park. Examples of suitable activities, as suggested by Raising Children, include brisk walking, dancing, cycling, jogging, running, basketball, soccer, hockey, swimming or football.
You can encourage your son to be active with these simple tips:
- Set a good example by living an active lifestyle and encourage your son to join you.
- Choose Christmas and birthday gifts that promote physical activity.
- Encourage your son to get involved in a team sport at school or in a local club.
- Set boundaries around screen time and encourage your son to go outside and play in his spare time.
At Christ Church Grammar School, boys have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sport and outdoor education offerings as part of a holistic education program. If you would like more tips on keeping your son healthy and active, subscribe to our monthly enewsletter.