Children should have many chances to play, run, bike, and play sports during the day. Experts recommend they get 60 minutes of moderate activity every day.
Moderate activity means you breathe and your heart beats faster than normal. Some examples are:
Younger children have shorter attention spans than older children. They may be active for only 10 - 15 minutes at a time. The goal is still a total of 60 minutes of activity every day.
Children who exercise:
Not all children are the same. Some kids are very athletic and love getting outside and being active. Others would rather stay inside and play video games or watch TV.
If your child is not athletic, find ways to motivate your child to be more active.
These ideas may help non-athletic children become active:
It is important to find an activity that excites your child. Some children like to do individual activities, such as swimming, running, skiing, or biking. Others prefer group sports, like soccer, football, basketball, karate, or tennis.
Choose an exercise that works well for your child's age. For example, a 6-year-old may play outside with other kids, and a 16-year-old may run at a track.
Organized sports and daily activities are good ways for your child to get exercise. Daily activities can use as much, or more, energy than some organized sports.
Some great daily activities are:
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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