In addition to diet and sleep, physical activity is the cornerstone of a healthy life. With increasing screen time and sedentary lifestyles, it is important to understand the benefits of exercise and develop healthy habits as a family.
1. Exercise helps keep your child in good physical health. The benefits include developing strong muscles and bones, improving sleep, helping them avoid obesity and reducing the risk of complications like high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes.
2. It positively impacts mental health by increasing concentration, memory and focus and reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
3. It is recommended that children between the ages of 5-18 get one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, vigorous to intense activity at least 3 days a week and activities that strengthen muscles and bones at least 3 days a week.
4. Physical activity can mean anything from spending time outdoors, playing games & sports, walking/running/cycling, dancing, swimming, physical education training (as examples).
5. Moderate-intensity activities are ones that make your child sweat and breathe a little harder than usual. They should still be able to talk while moving.
6. Vigorous-intensity activities will make them sweat more and feel out of breath. They will only be able to speak a few words between breaths.
7. Activities that strengthen and promote muscle and bone growth are ones that make them work their muscles and put impact or tension force on their bones. This can include skipping, jumping, climbing and lifting.
8. Your child needs regular physical activity to stay healthy. Make it a part of their daily routine, plan activities ahead of time, be creative and avoid boredom by changing up their routine.
9. Physical activity needs vary depending on age and gender, so make sure your child gets exercise and outdoor time based on their requirements.
Our guide outlines the facts based on research from several online and offline resources. If you are in doubt or worried about your child for any reason, consult with a qualified medical professional.