How Much Exercise Do Kids Need?
Kids are rambunctious. They have boundless amounts of energy that are impossible for kids to keep up with. They need a safe outlet for that energy to help them get through. That’s where exercise comes in. Not only will it help them get rid of their energy, but you’ll give them lifelong benefits to improve their quality of life throughout the coming years.
The Benefits of Exercise
- Exercise has been shown to increase the blood flow to the frontal cortex and hippocampus sections of the brain: the sections devoted to critical thinking and memory formation. They need both of these to do well in school.
- Kids’ moods are improved as they exercise. You can see this effect in yourself too. You always feel more amiable and happy after a good workout.
- Develops coordination, muscle strength, and a healthy body. As these are the development stages of your child’s life, the habits they pick up now will not only help them grow into their best selves, but they will keep these habits for the rest of their lives.
- Kids spend most of their energy running around outside rather than making a mess in your home. Fewer cleanups mean happier parents as well.
With those kinds of benefits, why wouldn’t you want to get your kids outside and moving as often as possible? Especially since all of these benefits could be yours as well if you joined in.
The next question is how to determine if your kids are getting enough exercise every day? What are is the daily recommendation of exercise you should be holding your kids to? Take a look at what the experts are saying.
The Daily Dose of Exercise
- 1-hour minimum of exercise (better if more).
- Activities should focus on three areas:
- Aerobic: anything that increases heart rate, eg. running, biking, dancing, and jumping.
- Muscle-strengthening: anything that pushes them past their normal, eg. climbing, pushing, and pulling.
- Bone-strengthening: anything that puts force on the bones, eg. hopscotch, running, and jumping.
The specific activities and how/when you do them are completely up to you. You can often motivate those who are less willing to get outside if you accompany them, and make the activity into a game.