Raising Active Kids to become healthier and happier adults!
So how much exercise should our kids be doing and why?
For children aged 6-13, The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends:
- Cardiovascular exercise on most days - at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity (Running, skipping, cycling, playing sport etc.)
- Muscle strengthening activity at least 3 days per week
- Bone strengthening exercises such as jumping rope at least 3 days per week
- Improves heart health
- Improves muscular fitness
- Improves bone health
- Promotes healthy growth and development
- Improves coordination and movement skills
- Reduces risk of disease and unhealthy weight gain
Emotional and intellectual benefits
- Improves academic performance
- Improves cognition, including memory, processing speed and attention
- Improves behaviour and sleep
- Reduces anxiety and depressions
- Improves self-esteem and confidence
- Time to have fun with family and friends
- Reduces anti-social behaviour
- Helps develop cooperation and teamwork skills
- Provides opportunity to make new friends
How can we encourage kids to be more active and in which ways?
For Stronger Muscles & Bones
Encourage children to:
- Skip, run, hop and jump.
- Climb or swing on monkey bars and climbing frames
- Play games like tug-o-war and hopscotch
- Do structured activities like dance, gymnastics and martial arts
- Organised sports like Basketball, Soccer, Football, Tennis. the focus should be on enjoyment rather than competition
Be Active and have Fun
Encourage children to play active games like obstacle courses, tag, skipping or throwing a ball or frisbee. Visit playgrounds, parks, nature reserves, ovals or beaches and get children involved in a variety of different sports and activities.
Active at Home
Limit time for watching TV and using electronic games and store portable electronic devices out of sight. Enjoy a walk with children around your local area or get kids helping with gardening activities like digging, sweeping or raking
For short trips, walk or ride safely. For longer trips, park the car some distance away and walk with children for the rest of the trip.
Model an Active lifestyle
Kids copy their parents, be a positive role model, go for walks, take the stairs, walk to events, go on active outings and bike rides to the park. We as a society need to do more to raise fit kids, let’s set up our children so they have the best opportunity to be happier and healthier adults!
By Carol Syer - Dry Programs Coordinator
Read more from our sources:
IDEA Fitness Journal September 2018
Australian Government Department of Health