The following information and tips on physical activity for children are from our Canadian government. I think it’s great that they are attempting to educate the public on how to encourage their children to be more active. I am also pleased to see that this information is being marketed to parents, teachers and caregivers of children 5 to 11 years of age.
Young children are not going to head out and exercise simply because it’s the right thing to do. They need guidance and direction on how they can enjoy their path to a healthier lifestyle. Regardless of the type of exercise they enjoy, one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day at home, school, or at an organized sport is ideal for kids age 5 to 11.
The more vigorous forms of exercise should be performed at least three days per week, but more than that is even better.
Physical activity plays an important role in the health, well-being and quality of life of everyone, and it is particularly important for children and youth. Habits, such as exercising daily versus being sedentary, are formed early and can last a lifetime.
As a parent, teacher, or caregiver, you can help foster the habit of children being active by doing as many of the following suggestions as possible:
- encourage walking to school and getting active as a family
- get them to skateboard, bike or run instead of getting a ride
- ask them to walk the dog with you
- have them rake the leaves, shovel snow or carry the groceries
- encourage them to dance to their favorite music
- replace computer and TV time with something active
- build active opportunities into daily classroom routines and encourage students to join a school sport team
- take kids to the playground or to the park to play
- reduce screen time
Some of the benefits of younger children remaining active are:
- opportunities for socializing
- improved fitness
- increased concentration
- better academic scores
- stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles
- healthy growth and development
- improved self-esteem
- better posture and balance
- lower stress
As a parent of two kids age 11 and under, I know firsthand how much better my kids feel when they are exercising to some extent every single day. With a good diet, regular chiropractic care, and daily exercise, they are well on their way to growing up healthy and strong. I firmly believe that every child should be given this opportunity. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s exercise or physical health, please do not hesitate to call me at my office.