A US review of research published during the last few years suggests that aerobic exercise in general but also yoga and tai chi can improve childhood and adolescent wellbeing.
The review took body mass index and lipid profiles into account and reports that these improve in overweight children, and those with asthma, diabetes and depression who take part in exercise. The yoga studies reviewed focused more on ADHD and anxiety.
The authors suggest that a potential underlying mechanism for the positive effects of exercise, yoga and tai chi might be the stimulation of pressure receptors leading to increased vagal activity, decreased stress hormones and increased production of neutrotransmitters, including serotonin that are involved in ameliorating pain and act as natural antidepressants.
The concede that further studies are now needed to further demonstrate the importance of children getting plenty of mindful physical activity.