Practicing sports for children-It is no novelty that the practice of sport is, along with good nutrition, one of the fundamental pillars for children to grow up healthy. And although we are increasingly aware of the need to perform some kind of physical activity, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that about 81% of the child population is not active enough . But is it really necessary that they play sports from an early age? What are the benefits of sports for children? Which are the most recommended according to their age? Put on comfortable clothes and get water, we’re going to do sports!
Sports for children and health
Practicing sports is much more than just doing physical activity. It has numerous physical and emotional benefits. Here are seven benefits of sport in children.
- The sport transmits values such as respect, tolerance or companionship, as well as effort and the spirit of improvement, values that are then reflected in the extra-sports field (family, school, etc.).
- It fosters the social relationships of the little ones, who relate to other children with whom they share the same “passion”.
- It gives them independence . Children assume the rules of the game and responsibilities, and that makes them more autonomous.
- It is a way to release tension that promotes relaxation. This channeling of feelings, which involves the practice of children’s sports, can have a positive reflection in the school environment.
- It contributes to reducing the risk of suffering diseases in adulthood such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.
- It favors the development of muscles and bones , in addition to its motor functions.
- Practice children’s sports teaching them a healthy way to have fun with friends or family.
The most recommended children’s sports
The WHO recommends the daily practice of sports in children from 5 to 17 years old . In younger children, although older children tend to instill light exercise through play, it is advisable to consult with specialists. Some of the most popular sports for children in these ages are:
- Swimming: swimming is precisely the most recommended option at early ages. Surely you have always heard that it is one of the most complete. Improves coordination and resistance, and is advisable to correct postural problems.
- Basketball / football / other group sports : group sports encourage cooperation and teamwork. It helps them to have better coordination, concentration and reflexes.
- Cycling : children who choose to get on the bike and pedal seem to improve, among other things, their agility (How difficult it is to maintain balance at the beginning!) And endurance.
- Rhythmic gymnastics / ballet / dance: it is one of the most popular extracurricular activities among children. It is a sport that favors coordination, agility of movement, balance and elasticity. In addition, it allows to express its expressiveness.
You have already seen the benefits of sport in children. We are in the perfect time to introduce you to the practice of some sport: swimming, cycling, basketball, soccer, martial arts, etc. There are numerous children’s sports to choose from. May laziness not be with you!
From Baguettes we encourage you to encourage the practice of children’s sports in your children. Although that yes, without forgetting that to practice sport it has to be seen like a game , that little by little it becomes a habit, and perhaps also in a passion. You can guide them when choosing the most appropriate activity, remembering that those who are going to practice it and who have to have fun are them.
The best sports for children from 3 to 12 years old
Physiotherapists and pediatricians agree in affirming that sports practice brings great benefits in the training of people. Some sports are better than others for children between the ages of 3 and 12.
Even so, there is no list of forced sports or prohibited sports. Anita Castillo, pediatrician at the Hospital DE Nuns DE Barcelona and specialized in sports medicine, states that the recommendations of physical activity in pediatrics are based on performing exercise 3 times a week, with a minimum intensity of 60 minutes a day.
THE JUDO, “EXTREMELY ADEQUATE”
In relation to judo, Leda emphasizes that it is an extraordinarily adequate initiation sport. Another of the outstanding sports is swimming. It has physical and coordination values, but requires a particular motivation and tenacity, for which not all children are predisposed, says the doctor.
Continuing with individual sports, athletics represents a group of very complete activities, which apart from the physical benefit, collaborates with the development of personal autonomy and self-esteem, confirms the pediatrician.
In relation to team sports in general, Leda says that “they have great values because they help sociability, and stimulate coordination and the sense of group organization”. The aforementioned pediatrician adds that all team sports have similar athletic values but, on the other hand, shows some skepticism in relation to football, stating that it has the disadvantage that, many times, the area around it is excessively competitive. promoted even among relatives and adults. This distorts the sporting nature and undermines the less able or physically fit.
handball a recommended sport for boys and girls From 9 to 12 years old: “girls and boys have mature vision and coordination and can understand the organization and strategies in team games”.
Within the studied ages, the last band that Dr. Leda proposes includes from 9 to 12 years old: “They have mature vision and coordination and can understand the organization and strategies in team games. They can practice sports that require technical skills such as basketball, hockey, volleyball or football at the competition level.
BEYOND CONCRETE SPORTS
About the most suitable sports for children from 3 to 12 years, the physiotherapist Francisco Javier Mendez considers that it is important to carry out physical activities in general, beyond specific sports: “We recommend, from the physiotherapist’s point of view, those that favor the normal motor development of the child “.
The goal of children’s sports is the maturation of the musculature system to minimize or prevent structural alterations such as values flatfoot, genus values or alterations in the pelvis or spine.
According to Francisco Javier Mendez, sports in the aquatic environment, such as swimming, have the purpose of “avoiding possible incorrect postural habits that weaken areas of the back”.
The physiotherapist Mendez emphasizes that individual activities promote the work of the more psychological aspect”. An example of this may be tennis or athletics.
Regarding the age to start, there is no manual with guidelines shared by all the experts. We propose that the beginning can be advisable as soon as possible, but always without any pressure and favoring its understanding outside of competitiveness, highlights this expert.
On the other hand, the physiotherapist David Canton Salved does not recommend sports that use only one hem body, like tennis. Canton adds that despite their obvious benefits, they have the physical disadvantage of developing more one hem body than another. It is difficult to maintain a balance, so it can lead to future problems.
MOST RECOMMENDED SPORTS
Based on the above, Canton develops a ranking of the five most recommended sports:
Swimming. It is one of the most complete. It has the advantage of being able to start at a very early age (3 years or earlier). Important aspects such as coordination, resistance, discipline or the relationship with other colleagues are worked on. In addition, it can correct or prevent possible postural problems such as scoliosis or hyperthyroidism.
Team sports. From 6-7 years old you can start with complete sports such as basketball or volleyball. Lower and upper limbs are exercised, so that good coordination and balance is required and developed, and team spirit and group work are favored.
Martial arts. Sport that can be performed at an early age (from 4-5 years), very beneficial for coordination, discipline, self-esteem and the relationship with other children.
Cycling. Practice is recommended after 6 years. Increase agility, coordination, resistance and strengthen self-esteem.
Athletics. It is a complete sport that can include races, jumps or throws. As one practices or the other, the age of initiation may vary. It has similarities with cycling, since it also favors coordination and endurance.
Basketball. With a basket and a basketball we can not only play basketball, but many other things. For example, see who can throw the ball more times before losing it or how many shots we hit a basket of followed.
Football. The football is the most popular sport (even in sports activities for children), but to have fun with ball, do not need to be an expert player . We can play to throw to the goal to see who gets the most goals, or to make passes among the friends to see who can stand the most, or even throw a cone to see who is the first to turn it over . There are a lot of ways to play! And with all we will have a great time.
Finally, in spite of how good the sport is and how well we have it running from one side to the other of E Pa’s DE Simper Play , many children do not like to practice it. Whatever the reason, we have to convince the child to do sports for children, because they are very healthy and very necessary. In fact, a study has shown that children who play sports rest much better than those who do not.