Fitness and Your 6-To-12-Year-Old

Kids aged 6-12 are in that stage where they need lots of physical activity to gain strength and coordination. It is also the perfect age to build confidence and lay the foundations for a healthy lifestyle. At this age, kids are learning to control their activity level.

6-12 year olds should get plenty of opportunities to be active. They can participate in sports and game that are perfect for their age, interests, personality, and ability. Ask your kids for suggestions regarding activities that they like. Kids won’t mind getting some exercise as long as they are enjoying themselves.

The National Association for Sports and Physical Education recommends the following guidelines for 6-12-year-old kids:

  • An hour or more of moderate and energetic physical activity everyday or on most days.
  • Participating in a number of brief stretches of physical activity of 15 minutes of or more everyday.
  • Avoid being idle for 2 hours or more.

At home

Signing your child up for organized sports is not the only way for him/her to get fit. For one, games and practice one or twice a week is not enough for your kid to reach activity goals. Plus, physical education in schools are can no longer be relied on to provide enough physical activity for kids. This is why it is important to provide opportunities for your kids to get fit at home: Kidshealth.org suggests the following tips:

  • Include physical activity in your family’s daily routine. Do household chores together or organize after-dinner activities. The goal is to keep your family active everyday.
  • Allow kids enough to play. Kids can burn more calories – and have more fun in the process – when left to their own devices. Let them ride bikes around the neighborhood, or play tag, and build snowmen. These activities are healthy, and best of all, fun.
  • Keep various games and sports equipment on hand. You need not buy expensive, professional grade equipment. An assortment of balls, jump ropes, or hula-hoops will do.
  • Be active as a family. Seeing you being active and having fun will get your kids going. Kids enjoy playing with their parents.
  • Limit time spent being idle or doing sedentary activities such as watching TV or playing video games.

Source: kidshealth.org