March 7th, 2020
As adults, we’re well aware of the many benefits to exercise. What you may not realize is how important it is for your child too. Regular exercise is a powerful weight control tool that decreases the chances of childhood obesity. Activity also lowers the risk of children developing asthma, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and a variety of other conditions. Ready to get your kids active?
It’s almost never too early to start exercising! Infants as young as two weeks old can benefit from exercise to obtain proper bone, joint, and muscle function. Tummy time is one example of early exercise which helps babies increase arm, back, and neck strength.
As your child grows, the amount of exercise needed will depend on the age and energy level of the child. Toddlers and preschool-age children may need as much as 90 minutes to two hours of activity per day, which can include playing tag, hide and seek or just running around a playground.
Once your child reaches six years, he or she should get about three hours of activity a day. Sound like a lot? They don’t have to do it all at once. Encourage your kids to be active even short 15-minute move breaks will work well!
Remember: exercise helps children sleep better at night, reduces stress levels, helps prevent depression and develops fine motor skills, balance and hand-eye coordination.
There are three different types of exercise that best help kids to stay healthy and avoid getting injured. These exercises are fun so it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit them all into the week!
The most important type of exercise for your kids is the kind that gets their heart pumping and makes them breathe a bit faster than normal.
Whether it’s playing sports, walking to school, hiking, skateboarding, going for a swim, fast-paced dancing or riding a bike, children should do some sort of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days a week.
Three days a week should also be dedicated to strengthening muscles. At any age, they can perform activities that use their body weight as resistance – gymnastics, push-ups, playing tug of war or climbing trees are all great examples.
With proper supervision and coaching, older children and teens can start using resistance bands or weights to strengthen muscles.
Don’t forget to strengthen those growing bones! Performing weight-bearing exercises at least three times per week – such as running, jumping and skipping – will build strong bones.
News flash: your kids are watching you! The best way to get your kids moving is to set a good example and be active yourself! Run around and play with them and show your kids that exercise is fun! Encourage a healthy, active lifestyle and discourage sedentary activities like constantly watching TV or playing video games.
Interested in learning more about our many exercise and wellness programs at our South Tampa wellness studio? Just call/text Team Driven at (813) 440-3016.