Going Back to School and Staying Active

As you know at the end of August and early September kids are starting to go back to school and parents are happy to see them starting their academic year. You might be wondering how to keep your kids active with them having fun as well.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and here are its fitness recommendations for children and adolescents, from ages 6 to 17:

A total of 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity (keep in mind that children are typically active in short bursts). Most of that should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least three days per week. Examples of aerobic activity include brisk walking, running, hopping, skipping, dancing, bicycling, jumping rope, and swimming. (You may also want to include jumping in a bounce house)

As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least three days of the week. For children, this type of activity may include using playground equipment, climbing trees, or playing tug-of-war. For tweens, examples of this type of activity include lifting relatively heavy objects (talk to your pediatrician to ensure your child is ready for exercise like this) or using body weight for resistance such as with push-ups.

In addition, kids and adolescents should incorporate bone-strengthening physical activity (e.g., brisk walking, running, jumping jacks, jumping rope, basketball, tennis, hopscotch, weight training for tweens with a doctor’s approval) into their hour or more of daily physical activity, at least three times per week.

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