HEALTHY LIVING  |  12.14.18  |  by Gia Dolney

Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. government issued new exercise guidelines for kids that frankly make a ton of sense.  One news report put it this way — “move more, sit less, start younger.”  Basically, exercise for children really matters — and it matters even when they are young enough to walk.  With 2019 now upon us, we think it’s a great goal for parents to get their children to be more active.  And here’s a few simple ideas!

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What The New Guidelines Say

Here what they are for kids according to the Associated Press —

Guidelines used to begin at age 6, but the new ones say preschoolers ages 3 through 5 should be encouraged to take part in active play throughout the day. They don’t call for a certain amount but say a reasonable target may be three hours of various intensities.

From ages 6 through 17, at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity throughout the day is recommended. Most of it should be aerobic, the kind that gets the heart rate up such as brisk walking, biking or running. At least three times a week, exercise should be vigorous and include muscle- and bone-strengthening activities like climbing on playground equipment or playing sports.

Tips on Getting In That Kid Exercise

Go retro.  Kids need to be disconnected from screens as much as possible when they are young, and then move.

If you’re able to go outdoors into a backyard, have toys that get kids moving —

  • Cars and dumptrucks with dirt that get them digging and imagining
  • Balls and ball play equipment
  • Swings or similar play equipment
  • Junior cruiser cars, trikes, or “Big Wheels”

This Fisher-Price Nickelodeon PAW Patrol Lights & Sounds Trike retails for about $118 but has an adjustable seat so that it lasts longer with growing kids.

Another idea is to go to a local park.  If possible, walk to the park to get the additional exercise.  You can bring a ball to play on the grass or shoot hoops.  And also enjoy the playground equipment.

Check out your local recreational department’s programs.  They are oftentimes seasonal — indoor exercise in the winter and more outdoor options for the summer.  And most programs cater to toddlers through adults.

You can also get exercise indoors — here are a few ideas:

  • Have a mini trampoline to get exercise indoors
  • Put on music and have fun dancing around for 15-20 minutes
  • Get a membership at your local YMCA and take advantage of all the kid-oriented exercise programs and free-play basketball
  • Type in “indoor kid exercise” in YouTube, and there’s tons of exercise videos for free geared toward kids — Jenny Ford in this video is a great example