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 how to set and reach goals.
Children should get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. It does not need 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 work up gradually to this level of activity.
Make sure your child does 3 types of physical activity:
If your child has been diagnosed as severely overweight, you can check with your healthcare provider or child's school to see if there is a local exercise group or program that works with overweight kids.
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:
Active chores can also get kids moving, such as:
Other ways to help children move more during the day: