With more hours of daylight and a few weeks until the good weather arrives to stay during the summer months, there are many who consider leaving the gym aside to enjoy outdoor sports and get in shape for the summer. Some habits and values that must be transmitted to the smallest of the house.
Responsibility, effort, perseverance, companionship or solidarity are just some of the many skills that children can develop by practicing some type of physical activity that motivates them. In addition to helping mental and cognitive development, along with a healthy and balanced diet, sport is essential for them to learn to lead a healthy lifestyle.
The many health benefits of exercise
The World Health Organization recommends that children between the ages of 5 and 17 get one hour of physical exercise a day, gradually increasing activity to achieve that goal and becoming a habit. Its many benefits include the development of bones, muscles and joints, as well as a healthy cardiovascular system. On the other hand, it can reduce the risk of hypertension and diabetes, being key to avoiding strokes.
Sport is a great ally to control energy expenditure, a decisive factor in preventing childhood obesity. According to the latest data from Nutritional Study of the Spanish Population, almost 40% of Spanish children between 3 and 8 years old are obese or overweight. The study shows that the incidence of this problem in Spain is 14.2% in the age group 3 to 24 years, only behind Greece (18%) and Italy (15.2%). Although the advantages of sport can go much further.
“Exercise not only brings positive results at the body level, but it can also help us achieve an optimal mental state. Physical activity is associated with beneficial psychological effects in young people, it helps to manage anxiety, which has been increased in recent months. In addition, sport reinforces their self-confidence and contributes to the development of social skills ”, indicates Miguel Ángel López, coordinator of the Sports Area of the Brains International Schools group.
Soccer, basketball or tennis are some of the disciplines with the greatest social significance in Spain, although this does not imply that they excite all children in the same way. For this reason, it is essential that we help them find that sport that motivates and excites them, so that they develop positive feelings towards physical activity that, in the future, can affect their health.
According to data from the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the number of sports licenses -document issued by a sports federation that enables participation in official competitions- registered in 2019 amounted to 3,945,000, with notable differences between men (77%) and women (2. 3%). This list was practically dominated by the beautiful sport, football, with a total of 1,095,604 members (27.8%). Basketball followed a great distance, with 385,635 (9.8%), but much further away were other minority practices, such as athletics (2.4%) or underwater activities (0.7%) . Although if we talk about the most popular or practiced sports in Spain, things change, and football is only followed by running (with more than five million runners in our country), paddle tennis or cycling.
These data are reflected both in the social environment of the elderly and the little ones, who may feel displaced by not finding fun in the sports practiced by the majority of their peers. For this reason, it is important that in the academic field they have at their disposal other alternative disciplines to the majority ones.
In this sense, today children have at their disposal a wide catalog of sports so that they can discover which is the one that best suits their personality: from the most popular, such as football or basketball, to other more minority ones such as climbing, ballet, water polo, swimming, synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, whose benefits Miguel Ángel Lopéz highlights.
Crossfit. The latest sport in fashion, a 360º training to work resistance, strength, power, flexibility and speed through different routines. This discipline imported from the United States in the last decade can also be adapted to the weight, capacity and needs of the little ones, as in the Brains Warrior Kids program.
Waterpolo. A team sport with physical and mental benefits that instills healthy lifestyle habits in children. Helps improve cardiopulmonary resistance, maintain stable blood pressure and stimulate blood circulation.
Swimming and synchronized swimming. The goal is to teach the best possible techniques, within a work environment that is based on camaraderie and passion. In the case of synchronized swimming, it fosters friendship and bonding between swimmers.
Climbing. One of the adventure sports with the greatest educational potential. Its benefits include the improvement of resistance, flexibility and joint mobility, as well as the acquisition of a clearer mental state.
Judo. The objective is the development of the basic competences of education such as social relations, skills and aptitudes, behavior, improvement of concentration and stimulation of self-discipline. You learn by playing, because the game must be the content around which all judo practice revolves.
Rhythmic gymnastics and ballet. These activities, which require a lot of discipline, bring multiple benefits to those who practice them. Development of flexibility, strengthening of bones, improvement of endurance and social skills are some of its advantages.
“Today there are more options than ever, so it is important to insist on sports practice among the little ones. Even those children who show less interest can find some discipline that allows them to exercise, while at the same time reinforcing their social ties, ”concludes Miguel Ángel Lopéz.
The benefits of sport
Learning from movement is basic in all stages (both at the psychomotor level and in body expression and creativity) so that our students acquire a baggage of physical experiences that provide them with benefits in their physical and mental health, as well as self-esteem or social relationships. . Thus, they achieve the autonomy and capacity for reflection necessary to internalize the vital importance of maintaining a healthy life.