Exercises for children

15 Apr 2016

I love to research things that have the potential to make our lives better, easier and healthier. Although I am limited to what exercises I can do, I am still a keen advocate of exercise as part of a holistic approach for adults and children.

In order to improve cardio respiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and cardiovascular and metabolic health, children and teens aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.

Most of this daily physical activity should be aerobic, but vigorous intensity activities should also be incorporated at least 3 times per week. For children and young people, physical activity can include walking, play, games, sports, physical education, or planned exercise, in the context of family, school, and community activities.

Physical activity for all

These recommendations are relevant to all healthy children aged 5–17 years, unless specific medical conditions indicate to the contrary.

Whenever possible, children and youth with disabilities should also try to meet these recommendations. However they should work with their health care provider to understand the types and amounts of physical activity appropriate for them, considering their disability.

For inactive children and youth, a progressive increase in activity to eventually achieve the target shown above is recommended. As with all exercise, it is appropriate to start with smaller amounts of physical activity, with a view to gradually increase the duration frequency and intensity of exercise over time.

It should also be noted that if children are currently doing no physical activity, doing amounts below the recommended levels bring about more benefits than doing none at all.

Benefits of Physical Activity for Young People

Appropriate physical activity assists young people to develop healthy bones, muscles and joints, develop a healthy heart and lungs, develop co-ordination and movement control and also maintain a healthy body weight.

Physical activity has been associated with psychological benefits in young people by improving their control over symptoms of anxiety and depression. Similarly, participation in physical activity can assist in the social development of young people by providing opportunities for self-expression, building self-confidence, social interaction and integration.

It has also been suggested that physically active young people more readily adopt other healthy behaviours (including avoidance of tobacco, alcohol and drug use) and demonstrate higher academic performance in school.

2 Responses to “Exercises for children”

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  1. Brad 15. Apr, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    This is such a important blog as the habits we form in early years tend to follow us in later life. I am amazed at the extent to which childhood obesity is prevalent in western society and it upsets me to see it.

    Hopefully blogs like these will help educate parents of the importance of diet and exercise in both their children’s and their lives. Your blog is full of sensible suggestions.

    • Ilana 15. Apr, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

      Thanks, yes and couldn’t agree more. The habits we form in childhood definitely follow us in later life.

      I believe good habits will always equal good and positive results. We owe it to ourselves to at least try.

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