Physical activity is an important piece of children’s health as well as their parents. It can help your child’s:
- overall mental well-being · increase energy · help kids sleep better · relieve everyday stress and anxiety · provide a sense of accomplishment · help lower risk of type-2 diabetes · help boost confidence · establish productive habits that will last a lifetime · improve overall health (VERB, CDC, Time for Kids Family).
Parents can help their children maintain a physically active lifestyle by providing encouragement and opportunities for physical activity. Families can plan outings and events that allow and encourage everyone in the family to be active.
The developmental needs and abilities of younger children differ from those of adolescents and adults. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) issued physical activity guidelines for elementary school-aged children (Corbin et al., 1998.) that recommend the following:
- Elementary school-aged children should accumulate at least 30 to 60 minutes of age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate physical activity from a variety of activities on all, or most, days of the week.
- An accumulation of more than 60 minutes, and up to several hours per day, of age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate activity is encouraged.
- Some of the child’s activity each day should be in periods lasting 10 to 15 minutes or more and include moderate to vigorous activity. This activity will typically be intermittent in nature, involving alternating moderate to vigorous activity with brief periods of rest and recovery.
- Children should not have extended periods of inactivity.
Getting 60 minutes of play everyday- Ideas:
- Create games with pets that encourage running around
- Hold a “Build a Snowman Relay Race” in the front yard
- Carry a football of flying disk in the trunk of your car
- Have a family field day including, sprints and long-distance races, shot put
- Make a family effort to use stairs more often, ride a bike or walk to destinations with your child
- Hire a babysitter who say, yes, they like to play tag
- Go to the Henry Doorly Zoo or the Omaha Children’s Museum instead of movies, to encourage walking. (VERB, CDC, Time for Kids Family).