Physical Activity

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Physical Activity

Physical activity is anything that moves your body and gets your heart pumping and can range in activities from walking to dancing to organized sports to swimming. Working out on a regular basis (at least three days a week) will make you strong, increase energy and flexibility and turn you into a physically active person. You don't have to run a marathon or swim competitively be considered active or healthy. Activity could be as simple as throwing a Frisbee or more vigorous activity like soccer, you are still engaging your body in movement, and that's what matters.

Time spent in physical activity can actually increase girls’ ability to excel in other areas and may even help improve girls' academic performance, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Researchers believe physical activity is linked to academic and achievement for both physiological and behavioral reasons. In addition to physical changes, such as increased blood flow to the brain, regular exercise programs can foster social interaction in many areas.

It's important to also emphasize that being a physically active person means a lot more than the numbers on the scale. Here are some of the other benefits of being active:

  • Strength is good for all sports as well as life. Getting stronger means your muscles are more capable of kicking a soccer ball far, lifting and carrying more or jumping higher.
  • Stamina means more energy. You can keep going; you can run further, climb more stairs, keep working and playing longer—without feeling winded.
  • Flexibility feels more graceful. You feel more elastic, have more bounce in your walk and are able to touch your toes or reach a high shelf.
  • Improved self-esteem This is probably one of the most important benefits for girls. When girls work out, they start to appreciate and respect their bodies for the awesome movement it's capable of. This in turn will help them to have higher self-esteem than girls who aren't physically active.

Girls should participate daily in a variety of activities to stimulate the heart and build healthy bones; any activity in which the body works against gravity, so the feet, legs, or arms are supporting or carrying the body's weight. Walking, tennis, and dancing are some of the activities to choose from. While swimming and riding a bike are activities that will keep you fit, they won't help build strong bones. The water or bike actually bears your weight, so bones aren't getting the impact of the activity.

And while many girls think they already get enough physical activity, the fact is activity levels tend to drop off as girls enter their teens. Adopting physical activity now can lead to positive lifelong habits which can help you remain healthier throughout life.  Physical activity plays a huge role in building girls self esteem, well being and health.

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