The Benefits Of Exercise For Children

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Apr. 1, 2011
  • Updated Apr. 2, 2011 at 4:09 PM UTC
Children should be encouraged to exercise, writes former marathon champion Uta Pippig. Photo Take The Magic Step

An active child is a healthier, more confident child.

It may seem obvious, but in this modern day of iPhones and Xboxes it probably needs to be repeated: exercise is really, really good for children.

Three-time Boston Marathon champion Uta Pippig has recently written about this topic. She notes that children who exercise can realize the following long-term benefits: “A stronger immune system. The body’s ability to fight disease is improved. Children are less prone to colds, allergies, and diseases, including cancer.” Children who exercise also improve their body’s ability to absorb oxygen. More oxygen translates into more energy.

Pippig says that besides the physical benefits of exercising, there are mental advantages as well. “Exercise enhances the brain’s metabolism,” she writes. “Studies show that active children have improved memory as a result of better brain function!” An active child is also more likely a less anxious child and a happier child.

Pippig concludes that “perhaps most importantly, physical activity develops children’s self-esteem and confidence. Their ability to overcome difficult situations improves and they simply enjoy a better, sunnier outlook on life.”

For More: Take The Magic Step

FILED UNDER: Boston Marathon / News TAGS: / / / / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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