• Luke Towning

The mental health benefits of football

The 4th February 2019 marks the beginning of Children’s Mental Health Week.

Staying healthy, both mentally and physically, is something that we’re incredibly passionate about at Foot-Tech Academy. For this reason, we’ve put together some of the ways in which football can support your child’s mental health and development. Take a look at how sport can aid a child’s well-being below:

  • Physical activity can be as powerful as medicine or therapy. In 2010, the Mental Health Foundation found that exercise can be as effective as medication or psychotherapy for people with depression. Exercise releases natural chemicals that helps with muscle tension, raises body temperature and causes tiredness. These all help relieve stress and provide relaxation.

  • Football plays a significant role in the formation of friendships. It provides a platform for young people to communicate, form bonds and exchange views through the celebration and commiseration of winning or losing a match. For young people, making friends is an important part of growing up.

  • Sport improves overall physical health. Football is a physically demanding game that improves speed, agility, strength, hand-eye coordination and overall cardiovascular endurance.

  • Playing team sports teaches children how to cooperate and work together. The lessons that a child learns on the field can be translated into their everyday life; it helps to promote collaboration and welcomes young people from all social and cultural backgrounds. It is also particularly helpful for people who are shy or who find it difficult to connect with people on other levels.

  • Physical activity performed in an outdoor space improves cognitive performance. According to a study, it also increases self-esteem and will reduce symptoms of anxiety and attention deficit disorder. Football can also help a child’s academic performance as it teaches key principles such as dedication and discipline.

  • Playing football improves sleep habits. Sleep is essential for growth and playing sports help children to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for longer. It also helps to regulate different sleep stages and cycles.

  • Rigorous activity sheds calories and burns fat; this helps kids to stay fitter, stronger and healthier. Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet can help to reduce the likelihood of your child being overweight or obese.

Football is a sport enjoyed by millions of people across the globe; whether it’s in mainstream, community football clubs or in specialised sport and health projects, football can deliver huge benefits for children. If you’d like to find out more about how to introduce the benefits of football to your child, get in touch today.

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