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

Image result for kids fitness cleveland

Empowering Punch!

Image result for kids fitness cleveland

Crossfit Cleveland

Image result for kids fitness cleveland


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 You can find additional health-related advice for kids here
  • © 2020 Sweet Kiddles. All Rights Reserved.
  • Design by Insivia