Here’s a million dollar question that every parent seems to be asking these days: how much exercise should my child get? There is no accurate answer to that question; however, you can choose exercises that go well with your child’s body requirements. I know, you must be thinking why isn’t there an accurate answer to that question? There’s gotta be an exercise regimen or exercise program that helps me gauge how much exercise my child needs.
Every Child is Different
The reason why there is no accurate answer to that question is that no child is alike. If children were similar in physical and mental aspects, then it would be easy to define a parameter against which we could measure how much exercise children need. Every child is born with different physical and mental capacities that require a different set of workout.
There is, however, a standard set of exercises that every child can practice. The standard procedure includes simple movement based activities that allow every child to maintain his physical well being.
How to Know What Exercise to Choose?
According to various medical researchers, exercise regimen varies by age. For example, newborn babies require simple head, leg, feet and arm movements that keep their bodies in motion. Similarly, toddlers and pre-schoolers require mild exercise in combination with active play and unstructured and structured activities. Preschoolers usually get ample work out with their school playground equipment, but newborn babies require full parental support in order to get the necessary exercise.
According to research, babies need around 35-40 minutes of movement based activities a day. Toddlers need 42- 48 hour of active and structured/unstructured activity in a week. As the age progresses, children need a set of exercises that allow them to enhance their physical and mental capabilities.
Is the Playground Activity Enough?
Unfortunately, no; the outdoor playground equipment does not allow kids to have ample ‘active play’’ that they require for their growth. It can be quite challenging for parents to figure out how much activity their child should be getting. The best thing to do as a parent is to make sure that your child does not follow a sedentary lifestyle. Playground activities and physical activities (that can include backyard games and indoor games) can be enough to get kids the necessary workout that their young minds and bones require.
If you think that the playground activities are hardcore enough to get your child’s heart racing, then it is a possibility that they will be enough for your child’s physical training. However, by looking at the current condition of our community parks, it is not appropriate to let kids spend much time in the playgrounds.
You can work out a routine where your child gets the 3 most important types of exercises, namely active, structured and unstructured activities. Children need ample activity so does not worry about tiring them out. Just make sure that with exercise and physical activities, they get ample sleep and nutrition to combat nutritional deficiencies.