Side effects of excess physical activity in children

Our little ones are usually active beings that come and go running in all directions. It is likely that more than once you have thought about enrolling your child in a sport or you felt that there is an excess of physical activity in your children.

The reality is that it is possible. Everything in excess is bad, including intense training. This usually manifests itself with injuries caused by physical and mental exhaustion. We tell you the side effects of practicing one sport too much and what precautions to take.

Benefits of physical activity for children's development

In short, sport is beneficial for health. But when we practice it excessively, everything gets complicated. Look at the benefits of your child practicing exercises according to his age.

1. Prevents obesity

Physical activity helps the healthy growth and development of the cardiovascular, muscular and skeletal systems, as well as contributes to the reduction of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia.

In addition, it allows to increase the efficient transport of oxygen in the red blood cells. It also accelerates abilities such as spatial perception, motor skills, and balance. This will result in a consistent weight associated with agility.

2. Improves mental health

Physical activity has a strong influence on mental health. It helps to reduce anxiety and stress, prevents insomnia and the consumption of medications to control mental illnesses.

It also improves self-esteem, the ability to concentrate, memory, and cognitive function.. Some studies indicate that children who play sports have better school performance, a high level of skill development and sensory functions.

Children's sport is promoted as a healthy practice to combat obesity in children.

Also read: 4 main factors that influence your physical and mental health

3. Stimulates social interactions

Physical activity allows children to develop a wide range of skills and qualities. This is how cooperation, communication, leadership, discipline, teamwork, concentration and memory are encouraged.

In this way serious social problems are prevented, treated and rehabilitatedsuch as crime, drug addiction, alcoholism, and family violence.

Repeated movements can cause injury

Repeatedly doing the same gestures can lead to training injuries in children, as their bodies are in full swing. To avoid this, they need to do various sports until they are 14 or 15 years old.

The most common injuries are at the level of the knee ligaments, growth plate fractures and microtrauma. Growth plates are one of the ways bone tissue grows. Each long bone has two growth plates that add extension and width to it.

As children grow, the growth plates harden and form solid bone. They are closed between the ages of 13 and 15. These can be damaged by repetitive motions or overload. If this happens there will be associated diseases.

How to prevent injuries from excessive physical activity in children?

Everyone should exercise, but with certain limits to avoid injury from excessive physical activity in children. We do not want, of course, to affect its performance and long-term life. These are some of the recommendations that should be taken into account.


Among the main recommendations is to do a proper warm-up. Remember that the same is aimed at preparing the body for greater physical performance and to avoid any muscle contracture or physical injury.

To do it well, it should last between 15 to 20 minutes. Although it all depends on the exercise to be performed. It is important to start warming up the large muscle groups and then focus on the individual ones, paying particular attention to the muscles that will be used during practice.


During the warm-up, the muscles must be given flexibility, so stretching must be done so that they respond to any effort and are prepared to protect the bones from a fall. In fact, should be done for 10 minutes.

By practicing stretching we get the muscle to increase its length and the response to the exercise to avoid any rupture increases. They allow the secretion and retention of organic lubricants, thus reducing friction between the fibers.

There are several things to consider about stretching:

  • Must be done based on the sport to be practiced.
  • Muscles must warm up first and then stretch.
  • Stretching after workouts is good because it allows to maintain the balance between the different articular, nervous and fascial systems.

The stretches must be consistent with the sport that will be performed later.

Discover: What stretches should I do before running?

Staying hydrated and well fed

Good hydration before, during and after playing sports is key to preventing muscle and joint injuries. This happens because 70% of a young person's body is made up of water.

When you exercise, some of this water is eliminated through sweat. During soccer training, for example, almost 2 liters per hour are lost.

You should start drinking water 2 hours before training and, during training, it should be taken every 20 minutes. Then it is advisable to drink liquids that are between 15 and 21 degrees in temperature.

Regarding food, it is suggested to eat vegetables, cereals and fruits at each meal, alternating white meat, fish, eggs and dairy.

Excess physical activity in children is not well-being

So you know that it is not bad for your child to exercise; what can affect it is excessive physical activity in children and bad practices. That is why it is convenient not to overload him and, above all, to encourage him to carry out those activities that he enjoys.

Once enrolled in the sport of your choice, make sure you are guided by coaches and professionals in the field. If you are careful in the aspects related to stretching and the correct performance of the movements, then there will be no risk.