- decreased risk of obesity and elevated cholesterol
- decreased risk of adult heart disease
- decreased risk of certain cancers
- increased bone mass (decreased risk of osteoporosis)
- improved self-esteem and self-confidence
- more positive feelings about body-image
- decreased risk of depression and anxiety
- less likely to experiment with risky behavior (alcohol, drugs, sex)
- higher grades and improved standardized test scores
- more likely to attend college
- greater lifetime earning potential
What You Can Do To Support a Girl in Sports
- buy a girl a ball (and bat…) and play catch with her
- watch sports events (especially women’s sports) with her
- photograph your child being active
- introduce her to active women
- be an active role model yourself
- encourage her to test her physical and emotional limits
- let her get dirty!
Useful Web Sites
Girls Health – information on nutrition, girls’ bodies, and healthy fitness activities. Has sites for parents and kids.
Women’s Sports Foundation – sports and fitness information, including athlete profiles and updated listings of televised women’s sports.
Melpomene – Named after a female athlete who ran the first Olympic Marathon in 1896, this is a varied site with many articles on nutrition, exercise and girls’ health. Also has a extensive book list for girls.
Physical Activity & Sport in the Lives of Girls – The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Report on “Physical Activity & Sport in the Lives of Girls” Detailed exploration of the many issues surrounding girls in sports, including benefits of and barriers to participation.