May is physical fitness month, and a great time to start thinking about your child’s activity levels as we head into summer vacation. Physical activity is important for everyone, including children. Children need exercise as they grow and develop. Regular exercise can help them:
- Form a positive body image.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Build and keep strong muscles and bones.
- Improve their quality of sleep.
- Improve their overall health.
Did we also mention that being active can be F-U-N? Most children need at least an hour of physical activity per day. Here are guidelines for the three types of physical activity your child should be getting on a regular basis.
Aerobic exercise is essential for your child. Children should be getting 60 minutes of activity or more per day in this category. Aerobic exercise is the type that increases heart rate and breathing. Examples include:
Muscle-strengthening activities help build strong muscles, bones, and joints. You will want to make sure to include this type of activity in the recommended 60 minutes at least three days a week. Examples include:
- Playing on a jungle gym
Bone-strengthening exercises are generally the weight-bearing type. This kind of exercise promotes growth and development of strong joints and bones. It’s good for children to do bone-strengthening exercises at least three days a week as part of the recommended 60 minutes. Examples include:
- Jumping rope
Good habits start from a young age, and then become a part of a lifelong habit. By making exercise fun and involving the whole family, you can show your kids that an active lifestyle is important as well as rewarding.