Please enjoy this guest blog post by dietetic intern, Elizabeth Thomas

Exercise Recommendations for Kids

 Exercise is important to our health.  It benefits us in many different ways.  It is more beneficial to start this healthy habit in kids at a young age.  This will increase the chance of them being active adults and live healthier lives.  This post will discuss the importance of exercise/physical activity and kids with recommendations, different activities, and tips!



The recommendation is for children to get at least 60 minutes of activity per day.  This does not all have to be done at once.  Those 60 minutes can be broken up throughout their day.  Physical activity should not be scary or dreaded.  It should be fun!


What does exercise help/prevent?

Physical activity can help prevent a host of things.  It can help with weight control, reduce blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, reduce risk of diabetes, improve self-esteem, help with confidence, reduce stress, make bones strong, and improve sleep.

Reading some of these you may be thinking children are too young to be susceptible to them.  The scary fact is that health professionals are seeing these health issues in children.  Also if they are inactive as children they are more likely to become inactive adults.  This will increase their risk of developing these diseases as adults.



These are some tips that can help you with keeping your kids active!

  • Limit screen time to 1-2 hours per day.
  • Purchase toys and games for outside use!
  • Break up workouts.
  • Keep it exciting.
  • Stretch before and after activity!
  • Don’t forget to warm up!
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Plan physical activity for the week.
  • Be their role model.
  • Don’t’ overdo exercise.
  • Find friends for the kids to do activities/sports with.
  • Do activities as a family.


What can you do as a family?

Physical activity can be fun to do as a family and it is helpful for everyone!

  • Game night
  • Walking the pets
  • Exploring parks/hiking
  • Turn up the music and dance
  • Play at the park
  • Household chores
  • Biking around the neighborhood
  • Walking around the neighborhood/lake
  • Play horse on the basketball hoop
  • Group classes at the local gym
  • Fitness DVD’s on cold or rainy days


Team sports

Team sports are not only great for being active, but they can help with social skills.

  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Track and field
  • Football
  • Volleyball
  • Lacrosse
  • Hockey


Fitness Outside of Team Sports

Maybe your child does not want to be in tam sports that’s okay! They’re other options.

  • Swimming
  • Horseback riding
  • Dance classes
  • Cycling
  • Cheerleading
  • Hiking
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Gymnastics
  • Martial arts
  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Cheerleading
  • Ice/Inline Skating
  • Frisbee
  • Skateboarding


What about Chores?

Chores can also be a good way to increase physical activity.  They also can help teach responsibility!  Here are some suggestions.

  • Raking leaves
  • Washing windows
  • Mopping floors
  • Vacuuming
  • Yard work
  • Walking pets
  • Cleaning rooms