This may sound like a lot, but don’t worry! Your children may already be meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. And, you’ll soon discover all the easy and enjoyable ways to help your child meet the recommendations. Encourage your child to participate in activities that are age-appropriate, enjoyable and offer variety! Just make sure your child or adolescent is doing three types of physical activity:
- Aerobic Activity – Aerobic activity should account for the majority of your child’s 60 minutes of daily physical activity. This can be moderate-intensity aerobic activity like brisk walking or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity like running. At least three days each week, engage in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
- Muscle Strengthening – Include muscle-strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, in your child’s 60-minute workout at least three times each week.
- Bone Strengthening – Include bone-strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, in your child’s 60-minute workout at least three times each week.
MODERATE TO VIGOROUS INTENSITY
On a scale of 0 to 10, where sitting is a 0 and the highest level of activity is a 10, moderate-intensity activity is a 5 or 6. When your child engages in moderate-intensity activity, their heart will beat quicker and breathe more deeply than usual. A level 7 or 8 exercise is vigorous-intensity activity. When your child engages in high-intensity activity, their heart beats lot quicker and they breathe considerably harder than usual.
Another technique to assess intensity is to consider your child’s activity and compare it to that of the average child. What level of intensity would a typical child use? When your child walks to school with friends each morning, for example, they are likely engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic activity. However, when they run or chase others while playing tag at recess, they are most likely engaging in vigorous-intensity activities.
WHAT ARE “AGE-APPROPRIATE” ACTIVITIES?
Some forms of physical activity are better suited to children than to teenagers. Children, for example, rarely require formal muscle-strengthening exercises such as weightlifting. Gymnastics, jungle gym play, and tree climbing are common ways for young children to build their muscles. When children reach the age of adolescence, they may begin systematic weight-loss programs. They might perform these types of programs in addition to their football or basketball team practice, for example.
HELPING MY CHILD MEET THE GUIDELINES
Many physical activities can be classified into multiple categories. This allows your child to participate in two or even three different types of physical activity in a single day! If your child plays basketball and practices with his or her teammates every day, they are not only engaging in high-intensity cardiovascular activity but also strengthening their bones. Alternatively, if your child participates in gymnastics lessons, they are not only engaging in high-intensity cardiovascular activity but also developing their muscles and bones! It’s simple to incorporate each sort of activity into your child’s schedule—all you need is a basic understanding of the rules and a list of activities that your child enjoys.
HOW TO GET – AND KEEP – CHILDREN ACTIVE
You can influence your child’s attitudes and habits toward physical activity as a parent, and knowing these recommendations is a good place to start. Encourage young people to be physically active for one hour or more every day for the rest of their lives, with activities ranging from informal, active play to organized sports. Here are some ideas for how to go about it:
- Set a positive example by leading an active lifestyle yourself
- Take family hikes or play active games together to include physical activity into your everyday routine
- Give your children equipment that encourages physical activity
- Take the kids to places where they can be active, like public parks, community baseball fields, or basketball courts
- Encourage your child to be interested in new activities by being positive about the physical activities in which he or she engages
- Make physical activity fun. Fun activities can be anything your child enjoys, either structured or non-structured
- Activities can range from team sports or individual sports to recreational activities such as walking, running, skating, bicycling, swimming, playground activities or free-time play
- Instead of watching TV after dinner, encourage your child to engage in enjoyable activities on their own or with friends and family, such as walking, playing chase, or riding bikes
- Be safe! Always provide safety equipment such as helmets, wrist pads, or knee pads, and make sure the activity is age-appropriate
CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
All children benefit from physical activity. Before your child begins a physical activity regimen, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare expert. Seek assistance from a practitioner who has worked with people with disabilities and physical exercise. They can provide you with further information about the sorts and amounts of physical activity that are acceptable for your child’s ability.