There was a time when playing outside was the norm for kids – there were no smartphones stopping them from exploring the great outdoors. However, times have changed. Today’s youngsters are spending more time in front of a screen, with potentially harmful results. It is critical now, more than ever, to get your kids outside and away from the screens.
What better way to get your kids outside and active than with sports?
Besides getting them away from the screens, research has highlighted why kids should play sports. It isn’t just about the physical benefits – playing sports can lead to higher self-esteem and better leadership qualities, among other important traits.
Here are five important reasons why kids should play sports.
They reduce risk factors for chronic illnesses later on in life
Exercise is important not just to maintain a healthy weight, but also to reduce risk factors for chronic diseases well into adulthood. Statistics indicate that as many as 13 types of cancer are linked to a sedentary lifestyle. Getting kids active early will help reduce the risk of illness as they grow older.
They set kids on a path to be active adults
Research also shows that younger children who participate in sports are as many as eight times more likely to be active adults. Three-fourths of all adults thirty and older who are currently still active played sports growing up. Encouraging your kids to play sports early in life will set them on a lifelong course of exercise and well-being.
They increase cognitive skills
Organized sports are highly correlated with an increase in cognitive skills. When researchers tracked children as early as kindergarten to the fourth grade, they found that those who participated in organized sports had an improvement in their academic performance. The kids also showed better concentration, more appropriate classroom behaviors, and a more positive attitude toward education and learning.
They enhance personal development skills
Children who play sports excel in personal development skills such as leadership, self-esteem, and goal-setting abilities. Learning early on how to be a part of a team, working toward a purpose, and participating with others for a common goal helps to develop important goal-setting and motivational skills.
They teach time management, which reduces stress
When children play organized sports, they are forced to prioritize their time and to manage their schedule. When sports are introduced early, children learn to manage their time according to their obligations. Time management skills help kids to reduce the stress associated with things like homework and career advancement as they get older.
Clearly, the advantages of getting your child to play sports early extend well beyond their youth. If you get your kids involved in playing sports when they are young, you can set them on a path to success in all areas of their development, not just physical.
Check out Step2’s range of sports toys to get your kids excited about playing sports from a young age.