Is your child getting enough exercise?

Is your child getting enough exercise?

A lot of the time when we hear the word ‘exercise’ we often think about lifting weights, running on a treadmill and getting sweaty.

But when you ask a kid what they think exercise is they will more than likely think about playing with their friends and being physically active. We all have said it before “They just have so much energy”. Correct, they do. But are they using that energy in the correct way? 


The Three Elements of Fitness

If you’ve ever watched kids on a playground, you’ve seen the three elements of fitness in action when they:

  1. Run away from the kid who’s “it” (endurance)
  2. Cross the monkey bars (strength)
  3. Bend down to tie their shoes (flexibility)

It is vitally important that we encourage kids to do a variety of activities so that they can work on all three elements.

Endurance develops when kids regularly get aerobic activity. During aerobic exercise, large muscles are moving, the heart beats faster, and a person breathes harder. Aerobic activity strengthens the heart and improves the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to all its cells.

Aerobic exercise can be and typically include:

  • Soccer
  • GAA/Rugby 
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Walking
  • Running

Improving strength doesn’t have to mean lifting weights. Instead, kids can do push-ups, planks, pull-ups, and other exercises to help tone and strengthen muscles. They also improve their strength when they climb, do a handstand, or wrestle.

Stretching exercises help improve flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to move easily through their full range of motion. Kids get chances every day to stretch when they reach for a toy, practice the splits, or do a cartwheel.


How Much Exercise Is Enough?

It is critically that kids get enough exercise. So, how much is enough? Kids and teens should get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.

Here are some tips that will help your kids to be more Active:

  • Keep a variety of age-appropriate activities and let them decide the ones they love.
  • Set a regular schedule for physical activity.
  • Make being active a part of daily life, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Embrace a healthier lifestyle yourself, so you’ll be a positive role model for your family.
  • Be active together as a family, we are lucky enough to live in a beautiful country so let’s get out and explore it.
  • Keep it fun, so your kids will come back for more.
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