Do you know what your child is doing when the school bell rings at the end of the day? Millions of students leave school every afternoon and have nowhere to go, since they do not have access to affordable, after school physical activities.
After-school hours are the peak time for juvenile crimes and risky behaviors, including alcohol and drug use. Studies found that children who do not spend any time in after-school activities are 49 percent more likely to have used drugs and 37 percent more likely to become a teen parent. Kids are also at the highest risk of becoming a victim of violence after school, particularly between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The highest amount of juvenile crime occurs between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., the hour after most children are dismissed from school.
Long-term health benefits of exercise are:
- A stronger immune system! The body’s ability to fight disease is improved. Children are less prone to colds, allergies, and diseases, including cancer.
- A reduction of type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and improving carbohydrate metabolism.
- A lower blood pressure and an improvement of the child’s cholesterol profile.
- A strengthening of the entire cardiovascular system, including the heart and lungs. The heart develops a higher “pump-activity” while the child’s heart and lungs are strengthened, supporting the prevention of heart disease.
- Children are less likely to become overweight and will have better control of their body fat. Overweight children are able to reduce their body weight and body fat due to the physiological effect of burning fat while exercising.
- Children develop stronger bone structure and muscle structure.
Active children enjoy additional health benefits, because:
- Exercise increases the blood flow to all body tissues, including the brain. Greater blood flow transports more oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells.
- Active children improve their body’s ability to absorb oxygen through aerobic exercise. Due to the increased oxygen in their body’s cells they feel more energized. More oxygen translates into more energy!
- Increased blood flow promotes the body’s transportation of the byproducts of metabolism and toxins back from the cells for elimination, recycling, or further use elsewhere. Children who exercise feel fitter and more energized because of their body’s ability to detoxify.
- Active children breathe better and sweat more. Breathing and sweating are great ways to detoxify the body and help it keep itself “clean.”
- Children increase their over-all fitness through exercise.