Benefits of Sports for Children's Cardiovascular Health

The practice of sports brings benefits for children's cardiovascular health. It's essential to include them in sports from an early age.
Benefits of Sports for Children's Cardiovascular Health
Andrés Felipe Cardona Lenis

Written and verified by degree in physical education and sports Andrés Felipe Cardona Lenis.

Last update: 19 January, 2023

The recommendation you’ve always heard as a mother is that your children should be physically active. But do you really know why? The goal of the following article is for you to know the benefits of sports for children’s cardiovascular health so you can find a way to encourage it in your children.

Generally, sports offer a number of positive benefits from an early age. Of course, the younger the children are, the more adaptations they’ll have to the activities so that they can practice them without any problem. In this case, we want to focus particularly on the benefits for children’s cardiovascular health. Below, we’ll show you how it influences children and how you could implement it in their daily routine.

Benefits of sport for children’s health in general

Before we move on to the cardiovascular benefits, we’ll show you the main general positive aspects that your children get from doing sport on a regular basis:

  • They sleep better: Being active most of the time, the hours children spend sleeping become a valuable treasure. In this way, rest starts to become an important habit for children, which is achieved at night. In addition, the body itself begins to look for ways to recover the energy it spent during the day.
  • They avoid sedentary lifestyles: One of the main problems in the world is sedentary lifestyles, and even children are affected. In addition, this problem has grown due to the poor implementation of technology. Therefore, make sure to encourage your children to take part in sports so that sedentary lifestyles don’t become an active part of their lives.
  • Strengthen their body: Keeping active not only prevents the early onset of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) but also contributes to muscle and bone strengthening. No matter what sport your children practice, the goal is to keep them moving constantly.
A child traning for sports.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation for moderate-intensity physical activity in children and young people aged 5 to 17 years is 60 minutes per day.

What are the benefits of sports for children’s cardiovascular health?

The above benefits could be considered to be the most relevant when it comes to sports and children’s cardiovascular health. Now, we’ll expose the positive aspects at the cardiovascular level–the heart and circulatory system–, which should also be obtained through other healthy habits, as stated in this scientific publication.

Although the influence of sport on cardiovascular health hasn’t been determined in younger children, a study conducted in Canada is the starting point to carve a path full of knowledge on the subject.

Improving blood circulation

The main benefit of physical activity is the improvement of blood circulation. Just being active raises the heart rate and causes more blood to flow around the body. The same is true for children, while blood pressure strengthens the blood vessels, both veins and arteries.

Strengthening the heart

Strengthening the heart not only contributes to the ability to push blood, but to overall fitness. In this way, the child will begin to condition themself to be subjected to greater efforts linked to resistance, whether aerobic or anaerobic.

A pediatrician listening to a young girl's heart.
By remaining active, children’s hearts begin to beat faster, which leads to muscular strengthening of the heart walls. At the same time, the higher the intensity of the sport, the higher the frequency.

Improving the quality and quantity of oxygen

Linked to blood circulation, another benefit of sports for children’s cardiovascular health is the oxygenated blood supply to the body’s organs. If sports activity is performed on a regular basis, the blood will have a greater amount of oxygen. This occurs due to the frequency with which the heart pumps and the gaseous exchange that occurs in the lungs, which takes place faster.

Therefore, not only is the quantity of blood benefited, but by having more oxygen, its quality is also improved. Broadly speaking, this benefit favors the primary and secondary functions of the body in general.

Predisposing the organism against NCDs

Counteracting the effects of a sedentary lifestyle is one of the objectives of physical sports activity. In this regard, the most relevant thing is to ensure that these effects occur from an early age.

The combination of the above-mentioned benefits of sport for cardiovascular health is responsible for protecting the body. This occurs with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are associated with heart health and are more likely in people who lead sedentary lives. In this way, problems linked to hypertension, obesity, strokes, and other similar health problems, decrease their probability.

The most beneficial sport is the one that your child likes

As a mother, we advise you to include your children in sports programs from an early age. Of course, for this, you must have the pediatrician’s endorsement and their authorization after some tests and studies. At the same time, make sure that your children practice disciplines or activities that they really enjoy. Remember that forcing them to do so will only demotivate them and keep them away from sports.

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  • Condición física y riesgo cardiovascular futuro en niños y adolescentes argentinos: una introducción de la batería ALPHA. (2014). Archivos Argentinos de Pediatria. https://doi.org/10.5546/aap.2014.132
  • Sanmartin, G. (2004). El valor del deporte en la educación integral del ser humano. Revista de Educación.
  • Carrera, A. (2015). Beneficios del deporte en la salud. Desacatos: Revista de Ciencias Sociales.

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