Exercise for ages 4-5
By the time your child is 4-5 years old they have developed their motor skills enough to control the basics. At this stage they are working on further improving balance and increasing their physical skill set.
Though an hour is the minimum required amount of physical activity in this age group up to 2 hours of exercise is beneficial. The exercise should be split between an hour of structured activity that you plan and an hour of unstructured activity that the child is able to decide on.
At this age focus on activities that help them work on their balance and hand-eye coordination like catch or gymnastics. Depending on your child’s physical abilities and comfort level more involved exercises like learning to swim or ride a bike is also an option. From 4-5 years old is also when your child can start participating in smaller scale sports centered activities. However, you should try to limit the number of people involved and only focus on the basics of the game.
Exercise for ages 6-12
During the age from 6-12 it’s important to star
t really laying the groundwork for healthy exercise habits. This is the time when kids can really start becoming more involved with the decisions they make in regards to exercise. This is also when many children start participating in organized sports teams.
From 6-12 years old 60 minutes of exercise is the required minimum. This is when you can help your child really develop a fitness routine with team sports that meet a few times a week as well as activities they can do regularly at home. There’s also the option of enrolling them in activities like a yoga class, rock climbing or even a kid-friendly gym.
Exercise for ages 13-18
This could possibly be the most vital time for your child to keep up daily physical activity. That’s because as kids get older the amount of exercise they get drops, starting at age 13 for girls and 15 for boys. In addition to health benefits, such as weight management, physical activity can increase self esteem and a positive self image among this age group which is also very important.
Again 60 minutes of exercise is recommended for kids that are 13-18 years old. In this age group team sports is still a great option and a natural choice for kids who’ve been participating in them already. However, teens tend to drop out of these sports so your encouragement can be a big help. It’s important to let them choose the activity that they want to do as they are definitely flexing their independent thought muscles at this age. Another good idea is to have your child plan group activities with friends. This way they can still get in their social time, which is part of the reasons exercise drops off in this age group.