Categories: Paediatrics

Physical Activity Recommendations

TYPES OF ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGE GROUPS

AEROBICS STRENGTHENING BALANCE AND CO-ORDINATION
Promotes endurance and heart health Strengthens bones and muscles Improves awareness of body
Helps control weight loss Promotes stability for movement Promotes self-confidence
Improves cardiovascular fitness Reduces risk of injury
Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS – FOR 2 – 5 YEAR OLDS

Each activity provides a particular benefit, but it is important to do all 3 types. Just keeping active, kids will improve their flexibility.

Tips for pre-schoolers:

  • Organized team sports are not recommended.
  • They can’t understand complex rules, lack the attention span, skills, and co-ordination needed to play sports

Amount of physical activity

  • Target goal: 1 ½ – 2 hours of movement and active play throughout every day
  • Do not allow your child to sit for more than 1 hour without getting up and moving around (except for when sleeping)
  • Begin with goals that are easy to achieve and boost confidence with the success.
  • For e.g., if your child is active for 30 minutes a day now, each week increase activity by 10 minutes

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS – FOR 6 – 11 YEAR OLDS

If kids are not physically active, as adults they may lack physical endurance, strength, coordination, and the ability to do physical tasks. These problems can increase the risk of chronic illnesses and lower self-esteem.

Each activity provides a particular benefit, but it is important to do all 3 types. Just keeping active, kids will improve their flexibility.

Amount of physical activity

  • Target goal: 1 hour 6 -7 days a week
  • Avoid sitting for more than 2 hours without getting up and moving around
  • Begin with goals that are easy to achieve and boost confidence with the success.
  • For e.g., if your child is active for 30 minutes a day now, each week increase activity by 10 minutes

Tips for younger kids: 

  • They need to master physical skills, such as jumping, throwing, kicking and catching
  • Set realistic expectations: They are not ready for the pressure of competition, can’t grasp complex strategy
  • Look for classes that stress the basics and provide encouragement and praise for kids as they improve their skills

Tips for Older kids:

  • They have mastered basic skills and understand the rules. Talk about handling setbacks and losses, and remind kids that sports are fun and make them physically and mentally strong

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS – FOR 11 – 17 YEAR OLDS

If teens are not physically active, as adults they may lack physical endurance, strength, coordination, and the ability to do physical tasks. These problems can increase the risk of chronic illnesses and lower self-esteem

Amount of physical activity

  • Goal: 1 hour 6 -7 days a week. Raise heart rate for at least 20 consecutive minutes, 4 or more times a week
  • Avoid sitting for more than 2 hours without getting up and moving around
  • Begin with goals that are easy to achieve and boost confidence with the success
  • For e.g., if your child is active for 30 minutes a day now, each week increase activity by 10 minutes

Tips for teens:

  • Encourage and get the teens on board
  • Give teens control over how and what they decide to do
  • Make an exercise plan
  • Encourage their efforts and praise their achievements

TIPS FOR MAKING ACTIVITIES FUN

To help children enjoy being physically active make it a lifetime habit, let them choose the activity. It may take them time to find what they like and keep at it. But there are many choices to try and they will discover activities that are fun for them. Follow these tips:

  • Make the activity age-appropriate
  • Involve the whole family
  • Take a class or join the team
  • Encourage free play with an activity to do alone / with a friend
  • Incorporate music in the activity
                                     At Home                                   Outside Home
Dancing Walking up and downstairs Playing catch and cook Football
Jumping jacks Tennis/bowling or other sport video games Relay races Playing jump rope   games
Playing red/green light Yoga Jumping and bouncing Skating
Skipping Pull-ups Playing in a playground Tennis
Pushing / pulling / carrying an object like a laundry basket Standing on 1 leg Cycling Jogging
Jumping games like leapfrog or over objects Doing the hula hoop Swimming Lifting weights at a gym
Tug of war Jumping on the trampoline Karate Hiking
Crawling over/under objects Hopscotch Hopscotch Kickboxing
Doing the crab walk Using a treadmill Gymnastics Pilates
Touching toes, raising arms Using rubber exercise bands Taking the stairs Indoor rock climbing

MANAGING CHILDREN’S ATTITUDES

The Athlete

  • Has athletic ability and is committed to a sport or activity
  • Ensure that athletes manage schoolwork, get enough rest and still enjoy the sport
  • Continue to let your child try out new things and enjoy a variety of physical activities

The Non-Athlete

  • May lack athletic ability. Kids are aware of these differences and some may have even been teased about them
  • The danger for them is abandoning all physical activity altogether
  • May lack interest in physical activity need parent’s help and encouragement to get and stay physically active
  • A parent’s positive attitude will help a child who’s reluctant to exercise
  • Start early enough – they’ll come to regard activity as a normal and fun – part of your family’s everyday routine

The Casual Athlete

  • Is interested in being active but isn’t a star player
  • Is at risk of getting discouraged in a competitive athletic environment
  • Encourage them to remain active even though they aren’t top performers

Dr. Mahesh Balsekar | Senior Consultant – Paediatrics | SRCC Children’s Hospital, Mumbai

Narayana Health

Recent Posts

Cyberchondria – How to cope with it

With the development of internet communication and information technology, we gained access to different levels…

5 hours ago

Your Child’s Mental Health

Mental health is a topic we generally ignore due to some pre-existing dilemma. Emotional well-being…

3 days ago

Health benefits of Eggplant

Eggplant, aubergine, or brinjal is a perennial fruit of the nightshade family, making them a…

3 days ago

Get Monsoon Ready

The thought of rain brings childhood memories, children playing, various seasonal fruits, lots of sweets,…

5 days ago

Health Benefits of Grapes

Grapes are botanically berry fruit of the genus Vitis plants, which can be round, elongated,…

6 days ago

How to help your loved ones recover from the critical care unit

Critical care or intensive care is the medical supervision for people with severe life-threatening conditions…

6 days ago