When it comes to children, physical activity is important for development. Physical activity helps build strong bones and muscles and reduces the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity also reduces stress and anxiety, and kids who are physically active tend to perform better in school, including getting better grades.
The benefits of activity are universal, including for children with disabilities or different abilities. Participation in sports and activities can promote overall wellness and help kids with disabilities maintain a healthy weight, which is a common problem. Participation, especially in team sports, can also promote a sense of belonging.
On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Ask the Mayo Mom host Dr. Angela Mattke is joined by Dr. Amy Rabatin, a pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, to discuss why physical activity is important for children of all abilities.