Children should have many chances to play, run, bike, and play sports during the day. They should get 60 minutes of moderate activity every day.
Moderate activity makes your breathing and heartbeat speed up. Some examples are:
Younger children cannot stick with the same activity as long as an older child. They may be active for only 10 to 15 minutes at a time. The goal is still to get 60 minutes of total activity every day.
Children who exercise:
Other benefits of exercise for children are:
Some kids enjoy being outside and active. Others would rather stay inside and play video games or watch TV. If your child does not like sports or physical activity, look for ways to motivate him. These ideas may help children become more active.
Organized sports and daily activities are good ways for your child to get exercise. You will have better success if you select activities that fit your child's preferences and abilities.
Daily activities can use as much, or more, energy than some organized sports. Some everyday things your child can do to be active include:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). School health guidelines to promote healthy eating and physical activity. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2011;60(RR-5):1-76. PMID: 21918496 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21918496/.
Cooper DM, Bar-Yoseph Ronen, Olin JT, Random-Aizik S. Exercise and lung function in child health and disease. In: Wilmott RW, Deterding R, Li A, Ratjen F, et al. eds. Kendig's Disorders of the Respiratory Tract in Children. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 12.
Gahagan S. Overweight and obesity. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 60.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 6/8/2021
Reviewed By: Meagan Bridges, RD, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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