Physical activity and sport are essential to a child’s well-being in the same manner as emotional relations, sleep and food are. And while children are separated into diverse age groups, care must be taken when deciding what sporting activities best suit them.
Up to the age of six, gymnastics, climbing simple objects and ball games are particularly recommended for children.
It is also important to start them on on activities that allow them learn how to fall without hurting themselves. Judo and skating are good examples.
From the age of 6 to 12, children should be advised to “work” on their suppleness. And the importance of gymnastics before they hit the age of 10 cannot be overemphasized.
Children who are capable of listening and learning outside of the family environment, should also be encouraged to sign up for group sports. Tennis is a great example.
The period between 12 and 15 marks the start of puberty. This is a time of constant physical development in which children grown an average of 12 centimetres per year.
At this stage they can take on more sustained sports such as basketball, football, tennis and combat sports. Ideally a balanced combination is what should aim for, in order to develop endurance, suppleness, dexterity and speed.
From the age of 15 onwards, physical activity will become more intense.
However, it’s important to avoid overworking the body and, focusing exclusively on body-building before the age of 16 should never be allowed.
While a child’s bone development is not yet complete, they still need to be particularly careful not to damage their cartilage and tendons.