Kids and Fitness
For many kids, biking to the playground and playing kickball in the backyard have given way to watching television, playing video games and spending hours online. But, it’s never too late to get your child off the couch.
Simple tips to give you child a lifelong appreciation for activities that strengthen his or her body.
- Set a good example - your active lifestyle can be a powerful stimulus for your child. If you want your child to be active, be active yourself.
- Limit screen time. A surefire way to increase your child’s activity is to limit the number of hours he or she spends in front of a screen.
- Establish a routine. Set aside time each day for physical activity. Start small, gradually adding new activities to the routine as you become more fit.
- Promote fun activity. Play catch, get the whole family involved in a game of tag or have a jump rope contest. Try classic movement games like red light, green light.
How Much is Enough?
Consider these guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services:
Ages 6 and older need at least one hour of physical activity per day. Most of the hour should be moderate to vigorous aerobic activity. In addition, children should participate in muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities at least 3 days per week. Many activities such as playing on playground equipment and jumping rope cover all the bases at once.
Remember, incorporating physical activity into a child’s life does much more than promote a healthy weight. It sets the foundation for a lifetime of fitness and good mental and physical health.