Slam magazine, which can be downloaded for free from ValueMags, does not exclusively cover the basketball pros, it also interviews and writes about younger basketball stars. Even when they do interview a pro or another adult basketball player, many times their childhood comes up and they discuss the activity that was a part of it.
These spotlights can be important for young readers of Slam, or even for people who have children, because having an active childhood, which can be achieved through organized sports, like basketball, has many benefits. These benefits range from improved overall health to improved mental health, both during children’s growing years and later in life.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 42 million infants and young children who were overweight or obese in 2013. WHO further reports that, if this trend continues, 70 million children will be overweight or obese by 2025. These numbers are no better when children get older. ESPN reports that 19.6 percent of boys aged 12-19 and 17.1 percent of girls the same age were obese in 2013. These statistics show how common and serious childhood obesity is.
To showcase the type of results these children would get from more active lifestyles, consider a study by John Hopkins University, which Science Daily writes about. This study, published in May 2017 in Health Affairs, suggests that even a slight increase in activity for children would help enormously. The study concludes that if all eight to eleven-year-olds in the United States exercised for twenty-five minutes a day, three times a week, then we would see $62.3 billion in medical costs and lost wages sidestepped and, further, 1.2 million fewer young people would be obese or overweight. This shows how even a small amount of activity added in semi-daily would be very beneficial for young people, especially since youth who have unhealthy childhoods are more likely to develop other conditions later in life, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Improved physical health is not the only benefit of a more active lifestyle. Mental health, too, benefits from regular exercise and activity. National Public Radio (NPR) writes about a study on teens in sports and mental health, stating that young adults who played sports had a more positive self-image and greater self-esteem. However, NPR was sure to note that you do not have to be on an organized team to find these benefits, because any type of exercise can help. If you are a parent or caregiver of children or young adults, then it may help to assist them in finding a form of exercise they enjoy, especially if they do not enjoy playing sports. This way, the child or adolescent may be more likely to stick with their exercise if they are enjoying it.
To read more about all things basketball and to hear from people who are leading healthy, active lives, download Slam for free from ValueMags today.