Understanding the Importance of Exercise in Adolescence
Research has helped us understand the importance of exercise in adolescence and has shown that there are positive impacts on adolescents from physical activity. These positive impacts have psychological and social benefits. Engagement of physical activity during adolescence is one of the biggest determinants of exercise across the lifespan. Self-efficacy, self-worth, social behaviours, attitudes, feelings of competency, and friendships are achieved through school based exercise.
It has been shown that the intensity and quality of which social interactions occur and the type of relationships developed is associated with greater happiness. This is due to the development of relationships with other adolescents. If younger individuals can develop richer networks of relationships they may be more s happy later in life. Relationship development has the capacity to improve an individual’s sense of self, belongingness, and a source of positive affirmation. The importance of exercise in adolescence extends to developing the body as well.
Those that participate in exercise classes often share the common goal of improving their strength. Adolescents have the capacity to develop the size and strength of their muscles. Regular physical activity does not alter the developmental process during this phase of their life, despite the myths. The benefits of developing strength during adolescence can improve body composition, decrease fracture risk, and can help improve posture.
Further psychosocial benefits of physical activity include improving an individuals’ self-efficacy. Practically speaking, this is an opportunity to improve confidence in sport and in life. For example, during lunch-time breaks at school, weekend sports, or group exercise classes. Frequent opportunities to participate in group-setting physical activity classes can increase an individuals’ ability to develop their own confidence further. Also, an additional benefit to short bouts of physical activity include improved mental-health. Which can be a result of the flooding of endorphins in the brain and the improvements in self belief.
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