Exercise and Children – How Much is Enough?
Children love nothing more than getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Whether it’s riding a bike or a simple walk around the block, exercise benefits us all. Exercise is particularly important for children, as it helps to ensure healthy growth and development. Many parents may be wondering how much exercise is appropriate for children, and in this blog post ABC Nanny Services will be answering that question.
The Importance of Physical Activity
There are a multitude of health benefits to exercise, and those who lead healthy lifestyles are more likely to live a healthy, long life. Children’s bodies are developing, and by maintaining a regular exercise routine your child will enjoy the following benefits:
- Healthy bone and muscle growth
- Improved circulation and healthy heart, lungs and arteries
- Rapid development of coordination/fine motor skills
- Improved fitness
- Improved posture and flexibility
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes
Depending on the type of exercise, social benefits can also be gained. Physical activity is also important for emotional wellbeing and cognitive development. Children who lead an active lifestyle are typically happier, more sociable and better able to concentrate on tasks.
How Often Should Children Exercise?
Between school, work and other daily commitments it can be hard to find the time to exercise with your children, but it is important to set aside some time each day for physical activity.
According to the Department of Health, children of the following ages should enjoy the following amount of physical activity.
- Children 0-1: daily physical activity, with supervised floor play recommended.
- Children 1-5: a minimum of 3 hours of physical activity daily.
- Children 5-18: at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.
Keep in mind that exercise can be spread throughout the day to minimise stress on the body.
Physical Activity Recommendations
There are many fun and exciting forms of exercise which children love. Whilst a daily walk around the block is fantastic, children also enjoy:
- Playing at the local park
- Exercising at the beach or oval
- Playing ball games such as soccer, basketball, or netball in the backyard or at the local park.
- Bike riding
- Helping with household tasks such as gardening, walking the dog or washing the car
It is important to ask your child about the activities they enjoy most. Once you know what your child enjoys, you should draw up a schedule so that a predictable routine can be maintained. This will keep your child engaged, challenged and interested. It’s also a good idea to keep an assortment of sporting equipment around the home and in the car, so that impromptu activities can be arranged when your children ask what they can do.
The team at ABC Nanny Services are always happy to get involved in supporting an active lifestyle, so feel free to get your nanny involved with accompanying your child to the park or attending their sporting commitments for support.
Need a Nanny? Contact ABC Nanny Services Today
Physical activity is important for children of all ages. By limiting sedentary time and supporting an active lifestyle, you can set your child up for a healthy, happy future.
If you are in search of a nanny for your family, please call ABC Nanny Services today on 0402522670.