I may have mentioned before that my son is quite a high energy child.
He has this need to move, to fidget, to wiggle, to jump and run around. Physical activity and exercise is really important for his well-being. Even though he’ll tell you he doesn’t want to go out anywhere you can just see how he thrives on being out in the fresh air, moving his body and letting out some of his energy.
Physical activity is important to all of us of course, and has all sorts of benefits throughout the different stages of our lives.
The importance of exercise in childhood and adolescence
Various studies have shown how important it is for children and young adults to get enough physical activity.
One study in particular found that children who walked for just 20 minutes showed increased levels of cognitive function. They were able to concentrate better and did better on tests too. So giving children the opportunity to run around throughout the school day can be really beneficial to them academically.
As we get older and move into adolescence we quite often stop being so physically active, but at this stage in life there are some big benefits to getting regular exercise. It helps us to feel happier and less anxious, and promotes a more positive body image which is quite often a big concern in our teenage years.
Adulthood and exercise
Sooner or later we all reach that point of realising we’re not as young as we used to be.
Our bodies feel more tired and we might gain weight more easily. Starting, or keeping up, and exercise routine can help to give us more energy again, and keep our bodies fit and strong.
Regular exercise can also help us fight the stress that often comes with this stage of life.
Benefits of staying mobile and active into old age
As we move into old age keeping active and mobile becomes important in a different way.
Research carried out at Kingston University has found that staying active and having a busy social life are key factors in helping people cope with the challenges of getting older. But it can be easy to become isolated as we get older, especially if we lose some of our mobility and find ourselves stuck at home more and more.
Keeping up a gentle exercise routine such as walking regularly or swimming as we get older can help to maintain our emotional and physical well-being. If our health does decline and our mobility is reduced then walking aids can help us to keep our independence and remain active enough to keep up our social relationships.
No matter what stage of life we’re at it’s important to keep physically active.
It’s just a case of finding the right activity for you. It might be walking as much as you can, rather than always taking the car. It might be finding a yoga class that you can go to with your children, or even your parents.
Whatever it is, make time in your schedule for physical activity and you’ll reap the benefits, no matter how young or old you might be.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post