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Military Health System News: Do Benefits of Sports Participation Outweigh Risks?

Youth participate in a flag football game on Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Travis Gershaneck)

Playing sports has health benefits for children and service members. Experts from the Military Health System examined whether those benefits outweigh the risks in a recent article.

Children can be involved in sports from a young age. Participating in sports gives children a way to release energy in a more controlled, positive manner, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Roth, a sports medicine physician at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in northern Virginia. From toddler gymnastics to T-ball and soccer, organized sports help teach young children important social lessons – like teamwork, sharing and perseverance.

Dr. Jesse Deluca, a sports medicine clinic chief and associate program director of the sports medicine fellowship at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, said regular physical activity also helps children build cardiovascular fitness and strength.

“You want to build those good, healthy lifestyles for the future because it’s such a benefit to their health if they keep a regular fitness routine,” said Deluca. Exposure to different sports allows children to learn new things, he said.

Read the full article on the website to find out what service members, children and coaches can do to enhance their overall sports experience and stay safe at the same time.

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This page was last updated on: September 14, 2017.