Why Does My Child Need to Exercise?
There are short term and long term benefits to physical activity.
Short Term Benefits:
1. Better sleep
2. Less Stress
3. More Self-Confidence
4. Stronger Bones and Muscles
5. Increased Endurance and Flexibility
Long Term Benefits:
1. Longer Life
2. Less Risk of Obesity
3. Less Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
4. More Likely to Stay Active as Adults
5. More Likely to Lead Healthy Lifestyles as Adults
How Much Physical Activity Does My Child Need Per Day?
Infants – While there is no specific length of time required, all physical activity should be designed to encourage motor development
Toddlers should have at lease 30 minutes of planned physical activity PLUS 60 minutes of free, unstructured play, totaling 1 ½ hours per day
Preschool children need 60 minutes of planed physical activity, PLUS 60 minutes of free play
School age children need 1 hour or more of physical activity.
What Are The 3 Elements of Fitness, and How Can My Child Improve Them?
Endurance is gained by doing aerobic activity, which causes the heart to beat faster, strengthening the heart, and improving the ability to deliver oxygen to the body.
Examples of aerobic activity are running, walking, and bike riding.
Strength is gained by doing old fashioned exercises, such as sit-ups, crunches, and pull-ups, but can also be improved through “play” activities, such as swinging on bars, doing handstands, and climbing.
Flexibility is important because it allows muscles and joints to bend and move through the full range of motion. It is improved by simple things such as reaching for a toy, or gymnastics activities such as practicing a split or doing a cartwheel.
There is one VERY important thing to remember…..If you want your child to be active, YOU need to be active! Be a role model! Do things together – go for walks or runs. Go outside and play tag. Participate in parent/child classes. Play, have fun, and enjoy your child!
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