Using exercise to help children make healthy connections

Using exercise to help children make healthy connections
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Exercise not only supports good physical health, it can support good mental health too.
And exercising outdoors, such as in an outdoor gym from Sunshine Gym, delivers a powerful wellbeing hit.
This Children’s Mental Health Week is all about making connections.
So while schools may be aware of the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of opening up outdoor gym facilities to pupils, we thought we’d also share some of the lesser known advantages.

Promotes social engagement

At Sunshine Gym we’re all about maximising opportunities, opening up outdoor gym facilities to people of all ages, all abilities, and all fitness levels.
Our outdoor gyms remove barriers to fitness such as cost, location and accessibility.
But often it can be mindsets that outdoor gym users need to overcome so they can make exercise a healthy habit for life.
For primary school pupils, a Sunshine Gym is great fun. The arrival of a Sunshine Gym is likely to be the talking point of the playground, and once it is open for use pupils will be exercising freely with smiles on their faces.
Outdoor gym equipment from Sunshine Gym offers inclusive workout opportunities, bringing different pupil groups together.
It is designed to promote social engagement, encouraging students to support and motivate each other to success.
A Sunshine Gym can be a place where new friendships are formed or friendly competition embraced in workout challenges.
Associating an outdoor gym as a place to make friends and new connections makes it a place all pupils will want to visit and take advantage of.

Exercise to feel better

Exercise releases feel good endorphins while also reducing stress hormones. These bring about feelings of general wellbeing while exercise itself can help to ward off anxiety by improving resilience and the body’s ability to overcome challenges.
The NHS advises that children and young people aged five to 18 should aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity a day.
It says this can be spread across the day while the time spent lying or sitting down should be broken up with some activity.
As well as supporting good mental health, exercise improves self confidence as outdoor gym users build their ability through regular workouts.
A Sunshine Gym is a place where youngsters connect exercise with feeling great.

Exercise to perform better

Other improvements linked to exercise include better co-ordination and balance, posture and  improved cardiovascular fitness which in turn boosts blood flow, burns fat and increases the body’s ability to deliver oxygen and energy to the muscles.
The Youth Sport Trust says physical activity can enhance cognition and emotional regulation and helps children to concentrate.
A sense of achievement and higher levels of academic attainment can be linked with physical activity, with active children seeing better results in subjects such as maths and English.
As an outdoor gym designed by Sunshine Gym also supports social integration children also benefit from improved social skills and can integrate with peer groups.
All pupils, including the least active children, have lots to gain from access to an outdoor gym in terms of overall wellbeing.
A Sunshine Gym is a fantastic way to develop physically literate pupils who understand the benefits of exercise for good long-term physical and mental health.
Contact our teams today, and discuss your ideas for an outdoor gym at your school.