Exercise is defined as being physically active and working your body at a greater intensity than normal, exercise raises your heart rate and body temperature and works your muscles too. As well as being active we should also be trying to ensure your children are eating healthy, if not exercise could be less effective
How much exercise should children be doing?
For Children aged 5 – 18 years old It’s important that they are partaking in aerobic exercise for at least 1 hour a day of activities that will strengthen their muscles and bones. The 1 hour cannot be spread out during the day, if your child is between 5 and 18. The exercise has to be more intense for children between 5 and 18 years, although the intensity of the activity needs to be appropriate, if they work too hard within that one hour this can put them off exercising, risk of getting injured, they may also lack in confidence if they have not achieved what they set out to do because it was too hard.
If your child is aged under 5 and they are able to walk unaided then they should be taking part in at least 3 hours of light exercise a day. For children under the age of 5 exercise time is longer but the 3 hours can be split up throughout the day, the child could complete the 3 hours by doing 30 minutes of energetic physical activity every hour.
What type of exercise should children be doing?
We should be trying to minimise the time children spend sitting down watching TV, playing video games, sitting in a pushchair, amount of sleep the child is getting, eating unhealthy foods.
Exercising for children is different than adults, children can complete their daily amount of exercise needed by playing games and running at lunch time, taking part in extracurricular activities, PE lessons, basketball, swimming, running, tennis, walking/cycling to school, all of these are good and easy ways of making sure your child is active whilst having a good time.
Children should be doing exercise that is fun, if the activity they are taking part in is fun and enjoyable they are more likely to take part again.
Benefits of exercise
There are many benefits of why children should exercise daily, your child won’t just notice the benefits and changes but you will too. Benefits for children exercising:
- Help strengthen their bones and muscles
- Increases children’s self-confidence and belief
- Teaches them the importance of exercise
- Helps keep their mental state of mind healthy
- Your child will be less likely to become overweight
- Exercise will reduce the risk of your child developing type 2 diabetes
- Children will have better outlook on life
- Making new friends
- leadership skills
- Positive behaviour
- Trying out new sports and activities
- Learning new skills
- Positive attitude