Many parents think of extracurricular activities like organized sports as a simple leisure (or even luxury) activity for their children. In reality, the benefits of sports for youth offer surprisingly varied and far-reaching physical health advantages. Participating in sports not only gets kids moving after sitting in class all day, but can set them up for success for the rest of their lives. Here are just a few examples of the physical benefits of playing sports for kids.
- Improving physical health and fitness. Easily the clearest advantages to getting children and teens involved in sports are the benefits of exercise. Kids who get regular physical activity enjoy better cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular health, greater bone density, stronger muscles, and a healthier body mass.
- Reducing the risks of chronic health problems. Children who are physically active reduce their risk of becoming obese and developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various cancers. As a result, they’re also more likely to enjoy low healthcare costs over the course of their lives.
- Enjoying a healthier body image and greater self-esteem. Being physically fit can go a long way toward helping kids and teens view themselves as strong, capable individuals. As they get older, fitness can also help teens to feel more confident in both their abilities and their appearance.
- Improving mind-body coordination. Regular exercise offers almost countless health benefits, but playing sports in particular develops additional abilities that are useful for everyday life and even for survival. For example, kids who play soccer can gain superior balance, aim, and agility, all of which are useful for managing their center of gravity and preventing serious falls and injuries.
- Reducing the likelihood of risky behaviors. Teens who play team sports are less likely to engage in behaviors that can pose risks to their health and safety, such as smoking, using other drugs, or carrying weapons.
Although participation in extracurricular sports is quite common among middle- and upper-class youth in the US, children who grow up in low-income communities and nations are at risk of missing out on the benefits of playing sports. You can give the potentially life-changing gift of athletic opportunities to children in developing countries like Uganda by donating to nonprofit organizations whose missions support the health and education of young Ugandans.
Give Ugandan Students the Gift of Sports With Simone’s Kids
Simone’s Kids in Nakaseke, Uganda provides high-quality primary and secondary education and meets basic needs for children in order to help them break the cycle of poverty. Your donations help purchase school supplies, textbooks, food, and other necessities for Ugandan students, as well as equipment for after-school team activities and sports like soccer.
You can maximize your impact with recurring donations to Simone’s Kids by joining The Village. The Village is a passionate group of donors committed to bettering the lives of children in Uganda by making monthly donations that help to provide better meals, more teachers, more activities, and even post-graduation services. Give today!
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