So how much activity should you child engage in regularly? How much is enough? How much is too much? How do you weigh one activity against another? With childhood obesity the rising concern of many parents, it’s important to understand how to engage your kids in activity and what the definitions of activity and inactivity are.
Everyday activities are the kinds of activities where our children should be spending most of their activity time. So what is included in everyday activities? The following are a sampling, though they are going to be different from child to child:
- Riding a bike for fun
- Roller skating
- Playing ball
- Playing tag
- Recess & Playing in the Park
More vigorous activities are what we would call aerobic activities and include most sports, but also include running, roller-blading and playground games. Kids often engage in these more vigorous activities about thirty minutes a day, give or take. As children age and they get more involved in sports either at school or out of school, they can increase this amount of time spent in aerobic activity.
Flexibility & Strength Activities
Regular P.E. classes at school should engage kids in activities that promote muscle strength, fitness and flexibility. Without regular physical education classes at school, extracurricular classes such as dance, martial arts and gymnastics can help promote flexibility and fitness. You are looking for these types of activities two to three times a week.
A child’s fitness is about engaging in regular activity – it doesn’t have to be exercise as we think of it, but it does require a lot of movement, engaging their muscles, their minds and raising their heart rates. The activities you should limit are the sedentary ones where they play video games, watch television or just sit still – active minds develop in active bodies.
How do you encourage activity in your child?