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Why Exercise and Sport is essential for Children during the Summer Holidays

Sadly, both Child Obesity and Depression rates in Children are at an all-time high as a result of constant exposure to social media, computer games and hours spent being extremely inactive during term time and holiday periods, add on top of this the poor food choices children are continually exposed to as a result of over half the foods in UK households being classified as ultra processed – high in calories and completely nutrient deficient.

I genuinely feel extremely grateful that Exercise and Sport has always been a big part of my life from a very young age. It has 100% helped shape me as a person and prepared me for a lot of what happens in life. I honestly believe Exercise/Sport is the perfect analogy for life – the Setbacks, the Failures and from that the Progress, it is the most effective ‘self improvement’ tool we have available to us – far more so than picking up one of the thousands of self-help books available today that people obsess over and believe will change their lives.

As we kick off our ION Summer Athletic Development Camps for children from 7 to 16 years old it’s been great to truly appreciate and reflect on just how important Exercise/Sport has been for me growing up and why I truly believe it should be one of the most important focus areas of any childhood.

Our Holiday Camps are labelled for ‘Athletic Development’ but they provide far more than just improving movement and physical qualities. Yes, the objective is to get children moving more during a period of time where it is easy for them to spend hours on end scrolling Social Media, or playing Computer Games or even just time being extremely sedentary. Recognising just how important their Physical Wellness is during the summer holidays is crucial as the correlation between physical health and mental health is MASSIVE.  

There are multiple studies now showing time and time again the benefits of exercise for children’s Cognitive Development as well – those participating in regular exercise will see improvements in Concentration, Focus and Memory in comparison to those that don’t. Our ION sessions are purposefully designed to teach kids new skills that takes time to master. This teaches them ‘Patience’, and what’s comes from patience and accomplishment?………..‘Confidence’, when children complete tasks like flipping a tyre or carrying objects a certain distance we can see in their eyes the joy and boost they get from it! Developing Confidence and Self Esteem in children is essential these days.

The other major benefit to our Camps is that it will improve ‘Social Skills’. Its great seeing friendships develop during sessions. The children usually start off quiet and shy or just stick to their circle of friends but throughout the sessions we see this area grows and develop. I massively believe exposing children to other children outside of their circle of friends is fantastic to develop their Social Skills. Children these days spend large amounts of time communicating to each other via social media or WhatsApp messaging rather than just having conversations and as a result they can become introverted and struggle in social settings outside of their close network.

And the last one is something I 100% believe in, Resilience – society is built around comfort and for a lot of children these days they just aren’t exposed to set backs and disappointment as ‘Competition’ is seen as a bad thing at times?? Our sessions are fun and incorporate games and competitions – some they win, some they lose – isn’t that life in general? Being able to overcome challenging situations is essential in our lives.


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