The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided a list of activities and guidelines for the physical activity your children need. Children, like adults, need at least 60 minutes of physical exercise per day. It is not a lot, and most children get way more than this amount of exercise in a day because of play time.
You want to make certain your children are getting proper exercise and not concentrating on one area of physical activity. The CDCP believes a child needs the following:
There are a few ways you can set up an exercise schedule for your children, when they are not in school. You can have your child do all three types of exercises a day, where you break each type into 20 minute exercises or you can provide 3 days of vigorous aerobic activity.
On another 3-day period you can have your children do muscle strengthening exercises, such as gymnastics, push-ups, and crunches. You also want to ensure that 3 days of the week involve bone strengthening exercises like jumping rope, running, and others.
To determine the proper intensity, consider the heartbeat. It should be around 7 or 8 on an intensity scale versus normal activity or sedentary heart rate. You can also gauge it by the activity. If your child is running, playing tag, or swimming versus walking the heart rate is going to be much higher than when they are walking.
Tips to Get Your Children More Active
Beyond doing activities with your child, you have a lot of other ways to get your child into exercising. Always remember you are the role model. If you say you don’t like something or won’t do something, then you need to explain why it is good for your child, but that you are not going to do the activity.
A little story
An individual knows how to ride bikes. However, this person is more apt to run into things, tip over, or worse. The motor skills required for this person to ride a bike are not developed for the activity. This person is better with swimming. There is a reason not to ride a bike, but that does not mean the person cannot go with the child who wants to learn to ride. The child can ride the bike, while the person walks.
Explaining a situation, such as not having the talent for an activity as a reason why you won’t take part is acceptable. You should not say “because or I don’t like it.” This indicates the child can “not like it” without even trying the activity. It is better to provide encouragement for an activity and explain any physical limitations you might have versus denouncing all activity.
Make physical activity a part of the daily routine.
Provide equipment to perform physical activity, such as a basketball, soccer ball, or other equipment.
Take your children to locations where other kids will be active in these same activities. Sign your child up for clubs, go to public parks, and locations that offer activities like roller skating or bowling.
Always be positive. Encourage your child to try new activities and participate. Let your child know even if they are not winning or good at the activity, it is okay as long as they are having fun.
Provide an age appropriate activity. Younger children are better suited for gymnastics versus climbing a wall. As your children age, get your child into activities that require more coordination and work on different muscles.
It is also helpful to provide a structured weight program, such as a school sport that teaches them health, proper diet, and helps them maintain their proper weight through proper activity.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on exercise equipment, if you have a tight budget. You can always find activities out in the place you live that can be demanding and intense. Yes, it is nice to provide as much as possible and enroll your child in every sport club they would like, but you are also going to teach monetary responsibility.
Find ways to spend a little gas to get out of the city and into nature. Take your children to a park with a hula-hoop, jump rope, and tag games you used to play. You never have to spend hundreds or thousands on exercise items for your kids, when the budget is tight. Your children can learn to find the fun in activities that are free, and often remember these memories more than the expensive equipment.