Odds are if you’re feeling down, you probably won’t want to get out of bed, let alone put on your exercise clothes, take a run around the block. Succumbing to the feeling of wanting to do nothing will not help your case, however. Whether you’re feeling unwell already, or, say, if you feel normal but your days are packed with endless activities and no downtime, staying put will not contribute to your feeling of wellbeing. Engaging in any kind of physical exercise, however, can lift you out of those moods and allow you to look beyond it, or simply help you ensure that those moments are less likely to come on.
So, will taking your dog for a walk or jogging to your local market solve depression for you? Odds are, no… but engaging in a regular exercise routine can certainly help you work through difficult feelings. Studies show that people who engage in regular exercise enjoy a boost in mood and higher self esteem, versus those who do not.
The same holds true for children and young adults. Self Esteem is an essential element in the healthy development of children and adolescents. Self Esteem allows children to grow and gives them the confidence to try, and to continue trying, unbeaten, when they fail. Trial “and error” is an essential part of growing. Without the confidence or self esteem to try, children won’t give themselves the same opportunities to grow.
Along those same lines, playing sports is one of the perfect opportunities for children and adolescents to learn these values, and to learn to try and learn to fail in a certain safe environment. On the one hand, children will get the benefits of exercise: self esteem, a feeling of motivation… one of the main benefits of exercise is that it produces endorphins in the brain, which lead to a feeling of wellbeing which can help self confidence and self esteem, and generally, just contribute to a healthy lifestyle which can promote positive childhood development.
A balance of sports and exercise in a child or adolescent’s life can help them handle the changes coming on at those times. Endorphins have a stress relieving effect and help stave away feelings of depression or anxiety. Being able to constantly try, fail, and learn to work with a team will be a defining factor in any childhood development.