There can not be enough said about the positive benefits of physical exercise. A minimum of 30 minutes a day can strengthen the heart and lungs, reduce blood sugar levels, controls weight, strengthen bones, regulates blood pressure and cleans out arteries. The number 1 prescription for weight loss is exercise paired with a healthy diet. Physical exercise is also great for mental health. It reduces anxiety by releasing endorphins (or feel good hormones) in your brain. The release of endorphins in turn reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) and with lower cortisol levels a reduced feeling of stress and clearer thinking. If you consistently exercise and begin to feel more fit you can experience an increase in self-esteem. And the big one reduce the risk of depression. This is especially important when we work with teens. During the transition from adolescence to teen depression can begin to take hold as a result of life hardships, being over weight, anxiety or stress. Children growing up in foster care are 7 times more likely to suffer from depression(1).
At AzCC we want to change the trajectory of lives and help kids discover a new path that doesn't lead to drugs, suicide or jail. Through sport and life coaching a child can gain a better understanding of life's options and how to navigate choices presented to them.
(1)Heather N. Taussig, Scott B. Harpin, Sabine A. Maguire Child Maltreat. Suicidality Among Preadolescent Maltreated Children in Foster Care. Published in final edited form as: Child Maltreat. 2014 Feb; 19(1): 17–26. Published online 2014 Feb 24. Available at:
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