Most children love to run, jump, climb, and play games. Outdoor activities give kids the chance to use up some of their energy, maintain a healthy weight, develop coordination, and build strength. Being physically active can help children build self-esteem and helps reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. Physical activity also helps teach life skills such as teamwork, patience, and setting and achieving goals.
Children should get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. It does not have to be done all at once. Short 10 to 15 minute spurts of activity work well too. If your child is not used to exercising very much, have him or her work up gradually to this level of activity.
Make sure your child does 3 types of physical activity:
For children who don't enjoy organized sports or classes, try exercise that can be done alone or with the family. Your child may enjoy:
Do activities as a family. Go out for a walk in the evening. Smaller children enjoy riding or skating alongside their parents as they walk or jog. You could also go out after dinner and play a game of catch, jump rope, or hopscotch. Kids are often more willing and excited to exercise when mom, dad, or older siblings are doing it with them. Try to plan weekends where the whole family joins in doing something active.
Active chores can also get kids moving, such as
Other ways to help children move more during the day: