The Value of Daily Exercise

  • Exercise and Children - Making Kids Healthier

    Running, riding a bike, playing a sport are all great ways to get the exercise needed to stay healthy and fit.  It's important for the whole family and should be are part of daily life.  Exercise not only promotes the building of strong bones and muscles, it's also a great way for social interaction with friends by building valuable relationships and providing opportunities for problem solving. In addition to being healthier in general, exercise helps to reduce the risk of obesity and the health problems that come with being overweight, conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.  In addition, people who are physically fit feel better; have greater self-confidence, and more energy.

    Exercise and children - How much exercise does your child need?  It is recommended that children get 60 minutes of moderate exercise every day.  Moderate activity means that your heart beats at a faster rate than normal and you breathe faster.  Although young children may only be active for 10-15 minutes at a time, the goal is still 60 minutes a day.

    Some examples of moderate exercise include:

    • running
    • swimming
    • bicycling
    • dancing
    • jumping rope
    • skateboarding or skating
    • team sports
    • playing on equipment at a playground 

    Because children are more likely to exercise when they are having fun, encourage activities that are enjoyable.  The focus should be on having fun rather than performance.  Examples of activities for children as young as two might be running, walking, galloping, and swimming with adult.  By three, they can start riding a bike with training wheels, climb low perches, and kick a ball.  And, by 4, kids can run, jump, skip, swim, ride a scooter, play tag or catch, and play on age-appropriate playground equipment.                                                                                

    Because children learn from the adults around the, make exercise a family affair.  By being good role models, children are more likely to exercise when they see their parents engaged in regular physical activities.