How Exercise Benefits Your Whole Body
In this article
Play ball or tag, take a bike ride, go up and down stairs, climb trees, walk, take karate -- it all counts as exercise. And there's almost no part of you that doesn't get better when you do it: 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. They get stronger when you get moving. That helps you feel more energy and means you can play, walk, or jog longer without feeling tired. So how about an extra lap around the track?
Muscles. Exercise makes them stronger and stretchier. So, become the family arm-wrestling champ. Do the limbo. Take out the garbage. Master the cartwheel.
Bones. You make yours stronger when you move. That'll help with everything from how tall you stand to how powerful you are.
Reflexes and coordination. They help you catch a pop fly on the field or land a perfect half-axel when you’re figure skating. Remember, practice helps!
Staying healthy. Exercise helps you keep your weight in check. It can mean you’re less likely to get diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and some kinds of cancer. It can even help you avoid getting a cold or the flu as often.
How Exercise Can Help Your Mind
Because a good workout gets your blood flowing, more oxygen gets 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
It affects chemicals in your brain. And those can change how you feel. When you move, you can:
- Get more energy so you feel good and can do things you want to do, like sports, dance, playing an instrument, or reading
- Feel better when you’re stressed out
- Stay calmer when you have to give a class presentation
Pretty cool, huh?
How Do You Make Sure You Get These Cool Perks?
You probably get exercise every day without thinking about it. Just running around or playing hopscotch counts!
But how much moving and playing should you try to do to help your body the most? Experts say kids should:
- Exercise for 1 hour or more every day. You don’t have to do it all at once. Just move for a few minutes at a time all day long. 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 2 hours at a time. Been sitting for longer than that? Get up and move for 15 minutes.
So, ready to have some fun? Get moving. Your body will thank you.
WebMD Medical Reference