It’s no secret that kids love to play. But did you know that active play can also positively impact a child’s immune system? That’s right—the science of play shows us that by engaging in active, physical activity, kids can help build their immunity and stay healthy all year long. Here’s a closer look at how it works.
How Active Play Boosts Immunity
When kids are engaged in active play, their bodies produce more white blood cells. White blood cells are the body’s first line of defense against infection, so by increasing the number of white blood cells in circulation, kids are better able to fight off sickness. Additionally, the active play also helps to reduce stress levels. High levels of stress have been shown to suppress the immune system, so by reducing stress through active play, kids can help keep their immune systems functioning properly.
There are a number of ways to incorporate active play into your child’s daily routine. One easy way is to simply make sure that your child gets at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This can be accomplished by enrolling them in a sport or other organized activity, taking them for walks or hikes, or even just playing catch or tag in the backyard. And while some exercise is better than none, research has shown that moderate-to-vigorous activity is most effective in boosting immunity. So make sure to encourage your child to get their heart rate up and really move their bodies!
Don’t reach for the medicine cabinet the next time your child comes home from school feeling under the weather. Instead, head outside for a game of tag or take a family hike—active play may be just what the doctor ordered! By incorporating active play into your child’s daily routine, you can help boost their immunity and keep them healthy all year long.