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Do Your Kids Get Enough Exercise? A Parents Guide To Keep Your Child’s Fitness At Check

Do Your Kids Get Enough Exercise? A Parents Guide To Keep Your Child’s Fitness At Check
Making exercise enjoyable ensures kids will continue to embrace an active lifestyle.

Kids naturally exhibit the three elements of fitness during activities like running, climbing, and bending.

Written by saumya pandey |Updated : November 22, 2023 9:31 PM IST

When adults think of exercise, it often involves gym workouts or running on a treadmill. However, for kids, exercise is synonymous with play and physical activity. Whether it's during gym class, recess, dance, soccer, biking, or playing tag, kids engage in exercise through various enjoyable activities. Exercise is equally important for kids as it is for adults and ensuring your kids exercise enough should be every parent's concern. To ensure kids remain fit and active, parents can encourage age-appropriate activities, establish a regular schedule for physical activity, integrate physical activity into daily life, adopt a healthy lifestyle as a role model, and engage in active family time. Making exercise enjoyable ensures kids will continue to embrace an active lifestyle. But how to find out the accurate time that should be invested in exercising for kids? Here are some points to help you while checking out your kid's regular physical activity.

What Are The Various Benefits Of Exercise For Kids?

Exercise offers a range of benefits for kids, including stronger muscles and bones, a leaner body, reduced risk of being overweight, lower chances of type 2 diabetes, improved blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, and an overall positive outlook on life. Additionally, regular exercise positively impacts sleep, enhances school performance, and mitigates the risk of developing depression.

The Three Elements Of Fitness For Kids

Kids naturally exhibit the three elements of fitness during activities like running, climbing, and bending. These elements include endurance (evident during activities like running), strength (displayed through climbing and similar activities), and flexibility (exercised through bending, reaching, and stretching). Parents are encouraged to support a variety of activities to ensure the development of all three elements.

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Important Points To Consider

  1. Aerobic activity, essential for developing endurance, involves large muscle movement, increased heart rate, and heavier breathing. Engaging in activities like basketball, biking, swimming, and running contributes to strengthening the heart and enhancing oxygen delivery to cells.
  2. Strength-building exercises for kids don't necessarily involve lifting weights. Push-ups, stomach crunches, pull-ups, climbing, and wrestling are effective ways to tone and strengthen muscles. These activities also promote strong bone development.
  3. Stretching exercises play a crucial role in improving flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to move effortlessly. Dance, yoga, and martial arts are examples of flexibility activities. Regular stretching helps children maintain a wide range of motion.
  4. Modern kids and teens spend more time in sedentary activities, particularly in front of screens. Excessive screen time, coupled with insufficient physical activity, contributes to unwanted weight gain.
  5. Limiting screen time, choosing high-quality programming, and keeping screens out of bedrooms are recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to combat sedentary behavior.
  6. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily for school-age kids and teens. This should include muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities at least three days a week.
  7. Preschoolers should engage in active play throughout the day, aiming for three hours of various activities. Guidelines for toddlers emphasize three hours of active play daily.