By Dylan Maggio, Extended Day Program Manager
We typically hear exercise talked about in the context of how important it is for adults, how it improves our physical and mental health. I personally believe that early incorporation of consistent physical activity such as sports, hiking, and simple outdoor play is tremendously important for a multitude of reasons. The first and most important reason is simply health. Exercising daily drastically improves health buy lowering the risk of childhood obesity and builds muscle strength. Furthermore, children significantly improve their coordination during development if they play sports or engage in other physical activities. The range of motion that is developed during childhood is often extremely hard to learn as an adult. Frequent play can also help kids manage their energy levels and be more prepared and focused in classroom settings.
I grew up playing all kinds of sports as a kid, and although I didn’t end up loving all of the games I played, I gained incredible intrinsic value from athletics. Playing on teams taught me to be a member of a community, a contributing and considerate member of a larger group. It taught me that exercise was important, and helped me build positive exercising habits that I strongly believe still resonate with me today. I build relationships with friends and family through sports and exercise, as well as developed an affinity for spending time in nature. While we sometimes tend to focus on what takes place inside the classroom, I think it is extremely important that we always remember to make space for kids to simply get outside and play.