Many of us are spending more time at home because of COVID-19. Unfortunately, more time at home means less exercise for many children who are missing out on recess, P.E. classes, and extracurricular activities. Exercise is critical to children’s health. No matter the age, children need exercise because it helps them sleep better, reduce stress, and improves their overall physical and mental health.
So, how much exercise does your child need exactly?
Our Sr. Director of Pediatrics at Trusted Medical, Kelly Ann Williams, MSN, CPNP-AC, PNP-BC answers this question and shares tips to help you ensure that your child is getting the amount of exercise that he or she needs.
Children, as young as infants, need daily exercise. Infants need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day- that includes tummy time, reaching for objects, or crawling. All of these daily exercises your little one can do from the comfort of your home.
Toddlers need about 3 hours of exercise per day on average. The time of exercise can be spread throughout the day. They can easily get exercise by playing with their toys or pushing activity walkers.
Children (Ages 3-5)
Just like toddlers, children ages 3-5 years old need at least 3 hours of daily exercise spread throughout the day. However, they also need 60 minutes of moderate exercise that increases their heart rate. Activities such as running outside while at home, playing with balls, and learning to ride a bike are all great activities that children can do to meet their daily exercise requirement.
School age children need at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical exercise per day. While at home, school age children can get exercise by jumping rope, throwing a ball, running or jumping activities.
Teenagers need to exercise at least 30-60 minutes a day, three to four times a week. These can include physical activities and exercises they can do at home, including yoga, running, dancing, or any other sports related activity.
Here is a fun idea to try while your family is at home: Try exercising together! This can include taking a family walk, putting some music on for a family dance party, making household chores an exercise game, or going for a family bike ride.
Exercising together as a family is a great way to spend time together and bond, while also making sure the entire family is getting the required amount of daily exercise needed for their age range.