How Exercise Benefits Your Whole Body
Playing ball, playing tag, bike-riding, going up and down stairs, climbing trees, walking, or karate -- it all counts as exercise. Exercise is a slam dunk. There's almost no part of you that doesn't benefit from exercise: bones, muscles, lungs, brain. You get the idea. Here's a look at all the ways exercise helps you.
Why Exercise Is Good for Your Body
- Lungs and heart: Exercise makes your lungs and heart stronger for increased energy and endurance. That means you can play, walk, or jog longer without feeling tired. So walk your dog. How about an extra lap around the track?
- Muscles: Exercise strengthens and stretches muscles. Become the family arm-wrestling champ. Do the limbo. Take out the garbage. Master the backward somersault.
- Bones: Exercise builds strong bones. That'll help with everything from how tall you stand to your overall strength.
- Reflexes and coordination: Exercise helps with reflexes and coordination. That helps you to catch a pop fly on the field or to land a perfect half-axel when figure skating. Remember, practice helps!
- Weight: Exercise helps you manage your weight. With exercise, you burn the calories you eat in food. If you don't have extra calories, you won't have to worry about extra unhealthy weight. Exercise also makes your body stronger and healthier.
- Staying healthy: Exercise can make it less likely that you'll get diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and some kinds of cancer. It even boosts your immune system and that may help you avoid getting sick as often.
How Exercise Can Help Your Mind
Because exercise gets your blood flowing, that means more oxygen to your brain. And that means you can think better. Exercise may:
- Keep you from zoning out in class or while doing your homework
- Improve your scores on tests
- Help you get better grades
- Help you sleep better. (When you exercise, your brain gets the message that you're tired at night.)
How Exercise Can Put You in a Better Mood
Exercise affects chemicals in your brain. And these chemicals can affect how you feel. Exercise can:
- Give you energy so you feel good and can do things you want to do like sports, dance, play an instrument, or read. That's stuff you can feel good about.
- Make you feel better when you and your best friend argue
- Help calm you down when you have to give a class presentation
Pretty cool, huh?
How Do You Make Sure You're Getting These Cool Benefits of Exercise?
You probably get exercise every day without thinking about it. Just running around or playing hopscotch is good for your body. It counts as physical activity or exercise.
But how much moving and playing should you try to get to help your body the most? Exercise experts say kids should:
- Exercise for one hour or more every day. It doesn't have to be all at once. Sprinkle exercise throughout your day. You could stretch in the morning, ride your bike after school, and then walk with your family after dinner.
- Get up and move. Don't sit still for more than two hours at a time. Been sitting for longer than that? Get up and move for 15 minutes.
So, go -- get moving! Your body will thank you.