Sometimes it feels like children have endless energy. They skip from school to the park and still want to run around when they get home. But between organised sports and time to just play, how do you know if they’re getting too much exercise?
For most parents the concern is that many children aren’t getting exercise, with PE sessions at school getting shorter and less school breaks, we are finding more often kids are coming home not having enough opportunities to be active.
Aim for at Least 60 Minutes a Day
The amount and type of physical activity that’s right for your child depends on their age, interests, and how fit they are already, but below are some generalisations recommended by the NHS in the UK;
Children aged 6 and up should get at least one hour of physical activity per day, every day. It sounds like quite a lot, but remember exercise can be broken up throughout the day and doesn’t have to be done in a single session. Many countries have recommendations that children get a far greater amount of exercise, for example in Finland the recommendation is about 3 hours of activity a day.
It’s a good idea to encourage children to move around for a few minutes every hour. They have shorter attention spans and tend to be active in shorter bursts than adults,
Include 3 Types of Exercise
Just like us parents, children need different types of exercise to stay healthy and avoid getting hurt.
Most of kids’ 60 minutes a day should be activity that gets the heart pumping. Good ways to get it include walking to school, running around or playing sport. At least 3 days a week, children should do vigorous aerobic activity, meaning it makes them breathe more heavily than normal. They can run, swim, or do fast-paced dancing.
Three days a week, kids should work their muscles. At any age, they can do activities that use their body weight as resistance — like gymnastics, playing tug-of-war, or climbing rocks and trees. With the right coaching, older children and teens can work their muscles with resistance bands or weights.
This type of exercise includes jumping, skipping, and running will help them build strong bones.
Playing a variety of sports
It is recommended to keep your child physically and mentally healthy by encouraging him to try different sports throughout the year, and to mix in other activities on days they don’t have specific coaching lined up or PE class at school.
The Kings Camps mission is to get children active, having fun and learning together and as a charity this is a passion that runs throughout everything we do on camp. Throughout a week on camp we get children involved in over 30 sports and activities, allowing them to explore opportunities and to try sports, which they may not get the chance to participate in school or in the local community.
We provide opportunities not just on camps, but also through active play sessions at schools – for more information, click here!