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Physical activity keeps the body strong and healthy and can improve mental health by decreasing symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain and loneliness. Physical activity can also improve focus, school performance, sleep and energy levels. Children who participate in regular physical activity enjoy improved relationships and a more positive body image. Physical activity plays an important role in developing the brain and supporting essential mental functions.
If your child has symptoms of depression or anxiety, or even just an "off" day, physical activity may be the last thing on their mind. However, physical activity can help greatly with maintaining mental wellbeing. "Feel-good" chemicals in the brain, known as endorphins, are released by the brain during physical activity and help to improve mood, energy levels and even sleep. Research shows the benefits of exercise go beyond just physical well-being.