• Positive Effects of Physical Activities on Physical Health

    By John Dunphy


    Children who participate in physical activities such as sports experience positive health benefits, including decreased risks of high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer, according to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. The President’s Council recommends at least one hour of physical activity for children daily. According to an article published by the University of Florida, children who participate in sports are also less likely to smoke or to use drugs and alcohol than children who don’t participate in sports. Teenage girls who participate in sports are less likely to become pregnant than girls who don’t participate in sports.

    Positive Effects of sports on Mood and Mental Health

    Children who participate in sports experience positive effects on their mental health, as well. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins in the brain, chemicals that boost mood and help prevent and relieve depression, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, the University of Florida reports that kids who participate in sports are less likely to develop depression than kids who don’t participate. Physical activity also relieves anxiety.

    Positive Effects of sports on Self-Esteem

    The University of Florida reports that participation in sports helps children develop self-esteem and that girls who participate in sports develop increased confidence and have a healthier body image than girls who don’t participate in sports. Improved self-esteem and self-confidence also help improve mood and mental health.

    Positive Effects of sports on Socialization

    Kids who participate in sports earn better grades in school and develop better social skills, according to the University of Florida. Participating in sports provides opportunities for children to develop friendships, to learn to lose and win gracefully, to practice taking turns, to take on leadership roles, to learn to follow rules and to practice managing conflict. The social interaction experienced while participating in sports also improves mood and mental health.

    Some recommended links for Design Learning Academy students:

    Team soccer in El Cajon:


    Club or competitive team soccer in El Cajon:

    San Diego United Soccer Club

    Team baseball in El Cajon, determined by residential address:

    El Cajon National Little League

    El Cajon Western Little League

    Team basketball in San Diego:

    Links for basketball teams

    Individual or team running for youth in San Diego:

    San Diego Waves

    Individual or team swimming, running, cycling, gymnastics, fitness, and training in East County:


    Individual or team activities, coaching, and support in San Diego:

    Boys and Girls Club

    Please feel free to contact me anytime with additional questions you may have about sports and physical activities and the effects on students, Design Learning Academy program, or any other home school related issues.

    John Dunphy
    Cajon Valley Home School

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