14 Benefits of Exercise for Children

14 Benefits of Exercise for Children

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During a year of unprecedented challenges, there has been much discussion about the benefits of exercise throughout 2020. 

With repeated lockdowns, furlough schemes and an alarming lack of options for leisure and events, we’ve all had to find ways to keep ourselves occupied through some especially difficult periods.

Sport England reported that across the first six weeks of lockdown, an average of 63% said they get active to manage their mental health

While the priority has been keeping ourselves sane and combating boredom – the resurgence of exercise in so many varying lifestyles has become a welcome reminder of all the benefits physical activity provides.

As specialists in sports education, we’ve decided to break down exactly how beneficial exercise can be for children – for both their wellbeing and their development.

From everyday movement to sports and games, all physical activity offers unique benefits, especially for our little ones.

Let’s find out what sort of exercises you can implement into their routines and the advantages they offer!

kids playing with jump rope

The importance of exercise for kids

Those aged 5-18 should aim for an average of 1 hour of exercise per day.

A variety of activities should be undertaken to develop their movement skills as well as aid their growth.

Activities should be spread out throughout the day to reduce long periods of sitting/lying down.

All activities should increase heart rate and body temperature.

The benefits of physical activity for children

Exercise is beneficial to us all, but for children, in particular, the list of benefits really is endless!

Health Benefits

  • Exercise obviously improves general fitness, and along with a good diet, it keeps children at a healthy weight.
  • Regular activity during childhood & adolescence strengthens their bone structure as well as their muscles. This doesn’t need to be rigorous exercise, simply being active on a regular basis will encourage healthy growth and physical development.
  • The heart can be strengthened in the same way as any other muscle, but it is the most important! More exercise makes the heart more efficient at pumping blood around the body; allowing it to push more blood with each beat to reduce blood pressure and the risk of coronary difficulties in the future.

Personal Benefits

Realising the importance of exercise at an early age benefits them in later life.

Sports are a fantastic way to learn leadership skills which will also help them succeed as adults.

Provides opportunities to socialise and make lots of new friends.

Learning new sports creates new interests and hobbies, which also help them build relationships with others.

Abiding by rules, practicing teamwork and sportsmanship encourage positive behaviour.

Improving their physical skills and healthy competition with others improves their outlook on life and maintains a healthy state of mind.

Discipline leads to a positive attitude and better behaviour. Some children learn this better through physical activity than they do in a classroom.

Exercise improves focus, which makes it vital to their academic performance.

Regular exercise releases stress and improves sleep.

Achievement, interaction with others, and a healthy body boosts self-esteem & confidence.

Team building encourages better relationships with siblings.

20 recommended exercises for your kids

The amount of exercise and type of activity your child should be practicing will depend on their age as well as their interests.

As they get older, more rigorous exercises may be in their interest, but remember, the most important thing is just to increase heart rate and body temperature on a regular basis!

Everyday exercise (all ages)

  1. Walking to school
  2. Playground activities (using equipment and playing games at breaktime)
  3. Walking the dog
  4. Walking to and from the shops

Fun activities (lower ages)

  1. Running (in the playground, the park or your garden)
  2. Throwing or catching games
  3. Playing with frisbees or other fun equipment
  4. Going swimming
  5. Playing sports
  6. Skipping

Advanced activities (higher ages)

  1. Cycling
  2. Obstacle courses
  3. Fitness circuits
  4. Scootering
  5. Trampolining
  6. Martial arts
  7. Rollerblading
  8. Gymnastics
  9. Body resistance (sit-ups & push-ups etc.)
  10. Weight lifting (14+ only)

Points to remember

Whatever your child’s preferred exercises, always consider the following:

Do they require protective equipment? (helmets, shin pads etc.)

Are they wearing appropriate footwear?

Do they have a medical condition which may affect their activity?

Should they be supervised by an adult?

How we can help

Breakfast clubs

Wake up & Shake up!

A positive start to the day can have a real influence on a child’s learning.

Our unique early morning clubs provide children across the Midlands with fun and engaging sessions of sport, games and challenges which engage the mind and body ready for the day ahead.

As a result, our schools are reporting improved behaviour, concentration and attendance.

Bespoke After School clubs

Our after school clubs are a great way to meet parents’ childcare needs, while also giving children new opportunities to get active and participate in more physical activity.

We allow flexibility to fit around work requirements, and, most importantly, peace of mind that little ones are having fun and learning along the way.

To make sure we meet the needs of as many children as possible, we provide a variety of specialist sports and outdoor activities to complement your current schedule.

Learn more about our Before & After School Clubs.

Lunch Time support & Playground animation structure

Structured lunchtime support is a great way to engage more children in physical activity while improving productivity and behaviour.

With over 50% of children not getting enough exercise, we want to ensure that they have the opportunity to achieve 60 minutes each day.

We offer a wide range of bespoke lunchtime options depending on your school’s aims.

Each solution will improve key skills including: participation, confidence, self-esteem, leadership and teamwork.


Looking for more ideas to keep active over the Christmas break? Check out our 12 Games of Christmas!

Get in touch for a FREE Taster Session!

For a FREE taster session, drop us an email in the form below!

All of us at Premier Active would also like to wish you a Merry Christmas and  Happy New Year!

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