Should Kids Exercise?

Should Kids Exercise?

Kids & Fitness

As obesity rates in the US continue to rise, the fitness industry is growing and families are putting a larger importance on fitness, so the question becomes, should kids work out?  

  • It is not often questioned when kids play sports, but if a sports team only has practice twice a week is that enough exercise? 
  • What about the kids that want to go to fitness classes and the gym?
  • What age is safe?
  • Is it good for them to be worrying about “fitness” at an early age? 

The questions could go on and on, and the short answer is, yes kids should be involved in fitness, but there is more to it than a simple yes. Hopefully, in this post, we will shed some light on how to incorporate the appropriate amount of fitness into your child’s routine. 

Let’s break this up by age: 

2 to 3 Years Old

The guidelines for physical activity states that toddlers should be getting: 

  • get at least 30 minutes of structured (adult-led) physical activity
  • get at least 60 minutes of unstructured (free play) physical activity
  • not be inactive for more than 1 hour at a time except when sleeping

Use different age-appropriate toys and activities that help build motor skills and are fun your child. Simple games and activities are all that a child needs at this stage. 

4 to 5 Years Old

The guidelines for physical activity states that preschoolers should be getting:

  • get at least 60 minutes of structured (adult-led) physical activity
  • get at least 60 minutes of unstructured (free play) physical activity
  • they are not inactive for more than 1 hour at a time unless sleeping

At this age, they have mastered most gross motor skills; running, jumping and throwing and can now work on perfecting skills and coordination. Activities at this age should still be fun, game-like activities that help in making “exercise” fun. 

You can enroll your child in peewee sports and activities but ensure that they are geared towards the appropriate age to ensure that it helps in building their confidence.

6 to 12 Years Old

The guidelines for physical activity states that school-aged kids should be getting:

  • get 1 hour or more of moderate and vigorous physical activity on most or all days
  • participate in several bouts of physical activity of 15 minutes or more each day
  • avoid periods of inactivity of 2 hours or more unless sleeping

It is at this age level that the words “fitness” and “workouts” start to really come into play. At this age, many kids are enrolled in sports and activities. Which are great forms of exercise, if they are a daily activity. If they are only meeting a couple or a few times a week then they are not meeting the recommended guidelines. Which is where at home or families activities can help to fill in the gaps. 

Different Fitness Activities: 

So now that you know how much your child should be exercising, and the guidelines for what that might include, what are some more concrete activities that this could include? 

2 to 3 Years Old

Indoor Activities: different movements including having your child walk over your legs, or crawl underneath, bend over and touch your toes. 

Games: leapfrog, follow the leader, freeze dance

Outdoor Activities: playing in the yard or on a playground, bouncing balls back and forth, and riding bikes and scooters. 

4 to 5 Years Old

Indoor Activities: yoga, dancing, and treasure hunts. 

Group Activities: swimming classes, peewee sports teams, and meetups with the playgroup.

Outdoor Activities: kicking a ball around, playing catch, and setting up an obstacle course. 

6 to 12 Years Old

Indoor Activities: yoga, local gyms often offer kids classes

Sports Teams: soccer, basketball, tennis, dance, gymnastics, etc. 

Outdoor Activities: bike riding, hikes and walks, running, rock climbing gyms, playing tag, skateboarding and playgrounds. 

Options here in Cleveland:

Click on the photo for more information

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Empowering Punch!

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Crossfit Cleveland

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PLAY: CLE

Overall Takeaways:

Being active is important for everyone at every stage of life, it promotes self-confidence, releases endorphins, and keeps us healthy throughout our life! Starting at an early age by showing daily exercise, making exercise fun, and boosting confidence is a great way to develop a healthy habit for life! 

You want to avoid putting too much pressure on fitness at an early age, fitness and exercise early on should be fun activities that your child enjoys! You should also ensure that the activities they participate in are age appropriate for safety reasons as well as to not be discouraging. 

If you have any questions or reservations about your child’s fitness activities always consult a professional such as your doctor. 
Many of the tips in this post are brought to you by KidsHealth.org You can find additional health-related advice for kids here
Spring Activities

Spring Activities

IT’S SPRING! Here are 5 Easy, Cheap, and Fun Spring Activities! 

As the weather starts to warm up and the sun stays out later, it is the perfect time to start getting back outside with the Kiddos! There are tons of fun, easy, and often free activities you can do with your kids this spring!


Have a picnic!

This can be for a lunch outing or dinner on your way home from work.

For a lunch outing, turn it into a little tea party, using tea sandwiches and the tea set, I know is buried somewhere in those toys!

Hectic day and don’t know what to have for dinner? Wait, isn’t that every day? Pack a blanket in the car in the morning.  Grab the kids from school. Stop to get sandwiches, pizza, Chinese, or the family favorite and head to the nearby park. Kids can play, you can get some vitamin D, and everyone gets fed! 

Bob Evans picnic-8

Mandy over at sugarbeecrafts.com got take out Bob Evans for their picnic!

Gardening!

Nothing says spring is here quite like a blooming garden! There are so many ways to start a garden, and this is a great link if you aren’t much of a gardener to get started: Better Homes and Garden

Whether you decide to start from seeds or get some pregrown plants your kiddos will love being able to get down and dirty!

Don’t have a yard to garden in? No worries, many communities have local gardening plots that you can rent! If renting a plot isn’t for you, you can grab a small window bed, and create a little herb garden in any space! 

Also, If you get adventurous and plant fruits and veggies, kids will be amazed by what they grew and will be so excited to try it, even if it is something they would normally shake their heads at!

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Dye Your Own Flowers!

You can create your own colored flowers with a few simple steps!

Gather, or buy all white flowers of your choice. Fill your vase, jar, or cup with colored dye. Freshly trim the stems and place in the colored water! Watch the petals of the flowers change color as they absorb the colored water! 

To see a full set of instructions click on the image below! 


Make Natural Art!

You can gather sticks, leaves, flowers, and anything else outside and use it to create works of art! Glue pieces together, paint them, glue them to paper,  or set them up in an old shoe box and create a scene!

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Backyard Cook-Off!

Did it just rain, all the playgrounds are wet, and everything is muddy? Well, head to the backyard and cook! Using mud and old dishes a full course meal can be prepared! In Addition, you can also throw in some dried food, pasta, corn, lentils, that are probably in the back of the cupboard and beyond freshness! 

Just make sure to pretend to eat those amazing dishes! 

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