The Importance of Physical Activity for Children

Many children spend a considerable amount of time in front of the television or playing video games.

It is important that your child/children are getting enough physical activity.

You must ensure that these two physical activities are part of your child’s day:

 Muscle and bone strengthening exercise

This exercise is best described as ‘weight bearing’ exercise which means that the child is supporting his/her own weight as in standing, walking, running, gymnastics or dancing.

Aerobic exercise for heart and lung health

This exercise is also known as ‘cardio-exercise’. It is light to moderate intensity exercise that can be sustained over time and stimulates the heart and breathing rate. Aerobic exercise is involved in playing a sport such as football, basketball, tennis or any sport that requires the child to keep moving for an extended period of time.

 So!!!

How do you get your child active!!!

How do you keep your child active!!!!!

 Your child may not want to play an organized sport nor join a gymnastics group and it is important to listen to what they want to do.

There are many more informal types of exercise that you can encourage them to do!!

Here are some ways you can ensure your child get the physical exercise they need:

  • Lead by example!!!!!!   If you lead an active lifestyle and show that you value physical exercise then your child will be more likely to do the same.
  • Make physical activity a part of your family’s daily routine – go for walks, play physical games like ‘hide & seek’.
  • Get some play equipment such as skipping ropes, trampolines or bikes.
  • Take your kids to places where you can ‘play together’ such as parks, swimming pools, skate rinks. Fly a kite!! Throw a ball!! Make physical exercise fun!!!
  • Be positive about the physical activities that your child participates in and encourage them to be interested in new activities.
  • Be safe! Always provide protective equipment such as helmets, wrist pads or knee pads and ensure that activity is age-appropriate.

 What if my child has a disability?

Physical activity is important for all children! Talk to a health care provider before you plan a physical activity routine with your child. They will tell you the amount and type of exercise that is appropriate for your child.

Ref: Content source:

o    Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

o    Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

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