Your child is likely full of energy and personality, and you know you need to find an outlet for all of that energy. Why not add a constructive athletic activity that can benefit your child for years to come? Martial arts is a wonderful option for parents who are looking to keep their children physically active, yet still disciplined. Read on to learn more about the benefits of choosing martial arts.
We all know children need exercise, but how much do they really need? According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, here are some guidelines:
- Toddlers need an hour and a half each day of physical activity. Thirty minutes of this should be planned, while an hour of it should be unstructured physical play.
- Preschool-aged children need two hours each day of movement, one hour of which should be structured.
- School-aged children need an hour or more that should be broken up into bouts of 15 minutes or more.
With that in mind, is your child getting enough activity in order to remain healthy? Kids who exercise on a regular basis tend to have stronger muscles and bones, leaner bodies, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These kids are also less likely to be overweight!
Children who do not exercise as much as their bodies need during the day tend to take longer to fall asleep at night. In the Archives of Disease in Childhood, they reported that every inactive hour during the daytime hours means another three minutes longer it would take for the child to fall asleep. This may not seem like a big deal, but researchers found that the faster kids fall asleep, the longer they tend to remain asleep. Poor sleeping habits and difficulty sleeping have been linked with an increased risk of obesity and difficulty with school performance.
Positive Peer Pressure
This study found that young girls and minority children are the most likely to be obese and inactive. However, in a martial arts program, all students are encouraged to practice—regardless of their race or gender. We invite children to work with us in an open, encouraging environment. Also, when students are having fun with their peers, they are much more likely to engage in physical activity! By making friends in our classes, your child will be more excited about exercising and learning new things.
Focus and Memory Improvement
Countless studies have noticed a connection between regular exercise, martial arts, and an increase in academic achievement. Active children have better memories, focus, concentration, and dedication when it comes to both school and other activities. These results improve across the board, regardless of age, gender, health status, or ethnicity.
Improved Mental Health
Martial arts is a great way to let off steam and engage in exercise, which releases endorphins! Exercise leads to an increase of blood and oxygen flow to the brain, an increase in norepinephrine and endorphin levels, and increased growth factors that help brain development. This will lead to higher happiness levels overall, as well as helping the brain learn easier.
Self-Defense and Conflict Resolution
Martial arts students are trained to handle many pressure situations, from bullying to stage fright. We teach the kids that physical self-protection is a last resort, and that there are usually other ways to keep a bully from harassing our students. Our students know how to handle situations like this with grace and maturity.
So many kids these days spend most of their day in front of a screen. In fact, the average is three to four hours of screen time a day. However, kids in martial arts need to dedicate somewhere between two to five hours per week practicing in their dojo. That is in between 104 and 260 hours a year doing something healthy that doesn’t involve a screen!
Contact Thrive Martial Arts
If you believe your child would benefit from taking martial arts classes with us, then give us a call! We at Thrive Martial Arts offer classes for all ages and would be delighted to work with your child. Reach out today to learn more, and we will see you and your family soon in class!