Exercise to fight off depression in school kids

  • By Sahana Rajan

Before concluding on the effects of different forms of exercise on children, it is important to note the distinction between fitness and exercise. Fitness encompasses most importantly a healthy lifestyle of which exercise forms a part. For this reason, when researchers examined the impact of fitness on emotional being of a child, most of them covered three main determining factors, namely the body mass index, the child’s feeling about fitness, and a shuttle-run test.

Depression is characterized by recurrent feelings of despair and hopelessness. The main symptoms of depression include sensations of unworthiness, dysfunctional thinking, lack of concentration, low level of sleep, anger, social isolation, crying, physical grievances like headaches which do not react to treatments, reduced interest in social activities, and thoughts on suicide. It is not necessary that every child will undergo all the symptoms. If most of the symptoms recur continuously, then it is a warning sign. The propensity towards chronic depression is higher in those who suffer from depression during childhood.

A healthy lifestyle is accompanied by a range of psychological benefits. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins which stimulate positive sensations about the self. Produced by the brain, they also reduce the sensation of pain. A healthy lifestyle boosts the sleep cycle and helps in coping better with tough situations.

A medical study conducted by University of Texas revealed the positive effects of physical activity on middle-school graders. It was found that there is a robust link between depression and fitness in girls. Even though boys show association, it is not explicit. Conclusively, it was pronounced that exercise helps in reducing the chances of depression in school-going children.

The best way to help your child is by introducing activities that she or he finds interesting. Initially, you might face resistance. The most important task is to communicate with your child. In the face of such resistance, you can attempt to find a hybrid therapy to reach out to your child. Apart from scheduling appointment with a child psychologist, you can also meet up with a physical health advisor. Emphasize on activities which will also help your child to meet new people.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the main benefits of physical activity is betterment of academic achievement and conduct in children.


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