Today’s teachable moment during COVID-19 has illuminated the necessity for exercise and physical activity. There are numerous examples of children and adolescents who are affected by this plague. If we were to put sports in the context of exercise, student-athletes are pleading for a breakthrough and deliverance from being in their homes. According to social media posts and personal conversations with student-athletes, the mental health of some of today’s youth is unstable. Children participate in little league sports, prepare in middle years, and matriculate in high school, with the hopes to someday make it to the collegiate level. The chances of partaking in sports at this moment are bleak for some. In addition, exercise and physical activity for those who need to exhaust energy, is limited. As I think of children with special needs, environments with space are important for students to release energy and create stimuli. It matters that such environments are available as children and adolescents are in crucial stages of development. Many factors come into play, and mental health isn’t the full picture. There is a bigger picture, total health or total fitness. Fitness includes physical, mental/emotional and social aspects, and all play a major role Senthilkumar, (2020). In a recent study, children with ADHD were observed to identify if exercised improved attention. The study concluded that there is a greater response-accuracy regarding attention, and there are improvements on tests of reading comprehension and arithmetic after exercise (Wagner, 2015). According to Luciano (2020), swimming-learning programs improved mental health, cognition, and motor coordination in children diagnosed with ADHD.
In conclusion, this topic is timely as children and teens are inactive due to COVID-19. To that end, exercise and physical activity is great for skeletal and muscular development. It helps with the respiratory and circulatory systems. Exercise and physical activity help with attention, comprehension, and motor coordination. Overall, exercise and physical activity offer great benefits as it impacts growth development, cognitive learning, and mental health.