As a parent, you do a lot to help your kids thrive. You want them to be healthy, succeed in school, and be able to navigate the ups and downs of life like a champ. We get it — you want what’s best for them, and that means setting lofty goals!
With so many hopes and dreams for your child, it can be hard to not overload them with too many commitments (or too much pressure).
Here’s the good news: you can benefit your child in nearly every area of their life by getting them moving.
More and more research links physical activity — like team sports, gymnastics, and dance — to higher levels of confidence, better teamwork skills, and better academic performance. That means the energy your kids put into physical activities benefits them long after practice or class ends.
Discover the 5 ways sports can benefit your child mentally, emotionally, and physically.
1. Sports are Linked to Better Academic Performance
You might think enrolling your child in sports could have a negative impact on their schoolwork. More time in an extracurricular activity means less time they’re available for homework, right?
Research has shown that just the opposite is true. Kids who participate in sports and physical activities tend to perform better in school than their peers who aren’t doing any sports or physical practice.
When kids play sports or practice something like dance, they learn in a different way than they learn in the classroom. Their brains are activated in complex ways that can improve cognition and translate to better performance in other areas of learning.
Plus, having an activity that is totally different from school may help your child focus when they’re in the classroom — variety is shown to improve cognitive function. That means when your child exercises their body, they’re also exercising their brain!
2. Kids Who Move Have More Confidence
Kids who participate in sports and physical activities reap the rewards of emotional well-being as well as physical health. Children who participate in sports are seen to have more confidence and a healthier sense of body image.
Participating in sports and other physical activities requires hard work and dedication. When your child puts time into an activity and sees progress, their self-esteem blooms. They learn firsthand all the things they are capable of physically and mentally. Those lessons stick, and so does their growing confidence!
3. Playing Sports Boosts Teamwork and Problem-Solving Skills
Whether your child prefers softball or gymnastics, engaging in a physical activity means they’re interacting with teammates, which improves their teamwork and problem-solving skills. In a study of middle schoolers, researchers found that participating in sports can help kids feel connected and bonded to their peers.
In team sports, children need to learn to rely on one another and see themselves as an important part of the group.
The same thing is true for activities that are more individualized — physical hobbies like gymnastics and dance are social without necessarily being team-oriented, but that doesn’t mean kids aren’t learning important social skills.
Like engaging in a group project, being in a gymnastics or dance class teaches your child how their actions impact the entire group. Group classes like dance and gymnastics give kids a chance to learn from their peers, emerge as a leader, and enjoy the benefits of group success.
In our summer camps, dance camps, and NinjaZone camps, kids exercise their bodies while making new friends. They can overcome creative challenges and bond with peers in a way that just isn’t possible in a typical school setting.
Plus, they’ll learn to cheer each other on — whether they’re swinging from the monkey bars or practicing a pirouette!
4. Physical Exercise Alleviates Stress
Physical activity reduces stress in children and adults alike. When your child engages in exercise, their body releases endorphins — those feel-good chemicals that make them happier and healthier. And the benefits could last a lifetime: a new study suggests that kids who are active in early childhood tend to experience less emotional stress later in their lives.
Overcoming physical challenges can translate into resilience in other areas of your child’s life, too. For example, when your child starts gymnastics, they might not be able to do many of the skills more experienced kids can. But with practice, great instruction, and time, they can watch themselves improve and grow. They might be doing backflips or swinging off the parallel bars in no time!
5. Sports Improve Physical Health
No matter what age you are, physical activity is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle. Some children get plenty of physical activity simply by playing. But as your kids age and pick up more hobbies that involve screens, they’re not moving as much as they used to. Keep your kids active by encouraging extracurricular activities that get them off computers and phones and into their bodies.
Physical activity strengthens muscles and bones, reduces your child’s risk of disease, and improves the health of their brain. And those benefits last a lifetime: healthy children are more likely to grow into healthy adults.
There’s a good chance your child will get hooked on exercise, too. Kids who start moving at a young age are more likely to stay active as they grow up.
Help Your Child Find a Physical Activity They Love
Sports and physical activities improve just about every aspect of your child’s well-being — so it’s a good thing your child has so many options at Mountain Kids!
To help your child find a physical pastime they love, give them options. Try out the camps and classes that introduce them to new things so they can see what they like and what they’re great at.
Mountain Kids offers your children the opportunity to learn and play while staying healthy and building lasting social skills.
In addition to regular classes, we offer summer camps so your kids can try us out before you make a longer commitment. If you have a particularly energetic young one on your hands, Mountain Kids might be the perfect place to host their next birthday party.
Learn all about our classes, birthday party packages, and summer camps. Your child just mind find their new favorite activity — and stay healthy doing it.