How Often Should Your Child Exercise?
You may wonder how much and how often your child should exercise. The amount of physical activity your children need depends on how old your child is. This ranges from being active throughout the day to being active for 60 minutes or more. Don’t worry; your child may already be meeting the recommended physical activity levels.
Recommended Exercise Based on Age
- Ages 3 -5 (Preschool): At this age, your child should be physically active throughout the day for growth and development.
- Ages 6-17 (School-Aged Children): Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity each day. This should include aerobic activities that strengthen bones, like running or jumping.
4 Ways to Increase Physical Activity at Home
- Set a goal. Discuss the benefits of physical activity with your child and ask them to help set goals for themselves. Achieving small, incremental goals can help motivate your child to get moving and develop long-term healthy habits. These goals could range from taking a walk every day to increasing the number of jumping jacks or squats they can do. There are a variety of workout challenges online for all different ages and fitness levels. Consider hanging a chart in the house and check off daily goals together.
- Get creative. It’s important to keep exercise fun! Ask your child which activities they like the most and mix it up from day to day. Exercises like walking, bike riding, dancing or playing outside are all great physical activities. You may even want to rotate which family member chooses the days activities or draw from a bucket to be surprised.
- Turn to online resources. Screen time may feel like a barrier to physical activity, but it can be a great tool for finding a wide variety of at-home activities. With so many exercise resources online, parents can utilize technology to help kids get moving. There are many family friendly and age-appropriate options.
- Make exercise a priority. If you really want to get your child moving, the best way is to set an example. If kids are going to be healthy and active, they’ll find inspiration from their families. Choose to be active with your kids as much as possible, rather than expecting them to do it on their own. Take a family walk or bike ride. Play kick ball outside or do a yoga session together. Being active together is good for your family’s health and offers valuable bonding time.
Indoor Exercises for Kids
While the outdoors gives kids plenty of space to explore and play, there are also other ways to be active! If you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, it can be challenging to find options that still expend their energy. Here are some ideas for indoor exercises:
- Stream kid-friendly workout videos online
- Body weight exercises such as push-ups, planks, squats or mountain climbers
- Jumping jacks
- Balancing on one foot
- Follow the leader
- Hopscotch (place tape on the floor)
- Fill up a balloon and don’t let it touch the ground
- Crab walk or bear crawl races
- Jump rope