This may sound like a lot, but don't worry! Your child may already be meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Encourage your child to participate in activities that are age-appropriate, enjoyable and offer variety! Just make sure your child or adolescent is doing three types of physical activity:
Aerobic activity should make up most of your child's 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day. This can include both walking and running at least 3 days per week.
Be sure to encourage muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least 3 days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes.
Lastly, include bone strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, at least 3 days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes.
How is it possible to meet the physical activity guidelines?
Many physical activities fall under more than one type of activity. This makes it possible for your child to do two or even three types of physical activity in one day! For example, if your son or daughter is on a soccer team and practices with their teammates everyday, they are not only doing aerobic activity but also bone-strengthening. It's easy to fit each type of activity into your child's schedule – all it takes is being familiar with the guidelines and finding activities that your child enjoys.
Keeping you child
As a parent, lead by example by making physical activity a part of your life by demonstrating a positive attitude toward physical activity. Let you children see how you exercise and from time to time include them in your activities. By being a role model you can help shape your child's attitudes and behaviors toward physical activity for a lifetime.
How to get your child active:
- Make physical activity part of your family's daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together.
- Give your children equipment that encourages physical activity.
- Take children to places where they can be active, such as public parks, community baseball fields or basketball courts.
- Be positive about the physical activities in which your child participates and encourage them to be interested in new activities.
- Make physical activity fun. Fun activities can be anything your child enjoys, either structured or non-structured. Activities can range from team sports or individual sports to recreational activities such as walking, running, skating, bicycling, swimming, playground activities or free-time play.
- Instead of watching television after dinner, encourage children to find fun activities to do on their own or with friends and family, such as walking, playing chase or riding bikes.