Recent studies show that kids and teenagers who exercise are generally healthier, live longer, and have a decreased risk for obesity later in life. Researchers now have the data that shows that early health behaviors are related to later adult health.
While exercise at any age is beneficial, beginning an exercise program as a child can provide even more benefits. According to MedPage Today, a Chinese study found that women who exercised as teenagers had lower risk of all-cause mortality than women who did not exercise until they were adults. Other benefits include a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature death later in life as well as lower cholesterol, according to a prospective cohort study.
Bernard Fuemmeler, MPH, PhD, an associate professor of community and family medicine at Duke University wrote that adolescent exercise regulates “inflammatory markers and hormones that help protect against the development of cancer risk over the life course.”
In the MedPage article, Dr. Fuemmeler stresses the importance of early intervention and doing more work for our children’s health:
“We also must do more work to improve the health of children and adolescence, since studies like this and others suggest that intervening early in the life course has immediate benefits on child and adolescent health, but intervening early may also have long-term benefits on our risk for chronic disease and cancer as we mature through adulthood.”
Here at Serving Kids Hope, we are passionate about overcoming barriers for children and teens so that they can enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle. We strongly believe that the benefits of physical activity and exercise last a lifetime, and research and acknowledgment of this fuels our fire!