How To Promote Healthy Child Exercise

Child Exercise is important for healthy bodies. Exercise for kids really means that they are being physically active. Kids exercise when they are at the gym at school, or baseball practice. Even when they are riding their bikes and playing tag or hide and seek. It is important that as parents we teach our children at a young age the importance of exercise.

Even toddlers can learn to develop the "healthy" habits that accompany exercise. It is important to not only have a healthy diet but also to be physically active. I know my four year old would live at the park because he has so much Fun, running and playing. As your child gets older it is important to explain to them just how critical exercise is.

The Benefits of Exercise

Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Kids who are active will:

  • have stronger muscles and bones
  • child exercise helps control body fat
  • less likely to become overweight
  • decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
  • in better spirits
  • will sleep better ;0)
  • handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.

There are three elements to exercise. Endurance, Strength and Flexibility. We have to encourage our children to do different activities. By doing this, you will ensure that all three elements are being utilized.

Endurance Exercise examples:

  • basketball
  • bicycling
  • ice-skating
  • inline skating
  • soccer
  • swimming
  • walking
  • jogging

Strength Exercise examples:

  • climbing trees
  • doing a handstand
  • wrestling

Stretching Exercises Examples:

  • Reach for toys/ reach for items that they want
  • doing cartwheels

How much Exercise is Required Daily for Children?

    For Infants

  • No specific amount of time but physical exercise and motor development is critical.
  • Toddler

  • Should exercise for 1½ hours daily. With 30 minutes of planned physical activity AND 60 minutes of "their choice" play.
  • Preschooler

  • Should exercise for 2 hours daily. With 60 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes of "their choice" play.
  • School age

  • 1 hour or more minimum hours daily of physical activity.

So it is critical that we as parents make exercise a PRIORITY for the entire family. A healthy diet along with great exercise is the way to go. The numbers for obesity in this country are staggering. We want our toddlers and children to know just how important child exercise can be.

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