It’s never too late to inspire a love of physical exercise in children by exposing them to sporting activities and fitness.
Medical professionals say that participating in various activities improves muscles and motor skills and decreases the chance of developing injuries due to overuse.
In the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)Trusted Source suggests that youngsters and teens ages 6 and 17 engage in at least an hour of moderate or high-intensity aerobic exercise daily.
Exercises that strengthen muscles are also a must in an exercise program of 60 minutes on a minimum of three days during the week.
It may appear like a lot, but it’s not difficult to see how much time can pile up in the context of all the running and sports children regularly engage in.
Here are some suggestions to help you select the right fitness program for your children.
Fitness and Exercise for Kids
Ages 3 to 5
It’s suggested that children between the ages of 3 to 5 remain physically active all day. Regular exercise can increase bone health and establish habits to ensure they are at an appropriate weight as they increase in size.
Preschoolers can participate in games with teams like basketball, soccer, or T-ball, as your expectations are reasonable. All sports at this level are about playing and not competition.
Most children aged 5 aren’t coordinated enough to strike an errant ball and don’t possess the proper ball-handling skills on the basketball court or soccer court.
Swimming is an excellent method of encouraging your child to get active. It is okay to introduce children to the dangers of water at 6 months to three years old.
A study by the American Red Cross, the nation’s most renowned organization for water safety and instruction, recommends that children and their parents begin by enrolling in a fundamental course.
The classes typically teach the blowing of bubbles as well as underwater exploration before beginning official swim lessons. The children are ready to master breath control, floating, and basic strokes around 4 or 5.
Ages 6 to 8
The children have grown enough at 6 to make it possible for them to strike an improvised baseball and throw a soccer ball or basketball.
They can also perform gymnastics exercises and safely ride and control a bicycle with two wheels. This is the perfect moment to introduce youngsters to various physical and fitness-related sports.
Different sports use the growth plates in different ways, which helps ensure a healthy development overall. Injuries from overuse (such as strain fractures or heel pain for football players) are more frequent and occur when children play the same sport year after year.
Ages 9 to 11
Hand-eye coordination is evident at this stage. Most children can throw and hit a baseball and make solid contact with a golf ball or tennis ball. Promoting competition is acceptable, so it’s not all your energy into winning.
If your child is keen to participate in sporting events like triathlons with short-duration or long-distance races, they are safe so long as they’ve trained for the event and maintained regular water intake.
Ages 12 to 14
Children’s interest may diminish in the organized environment of sports once they enter the age of adolescence. They might decide to concentrate instead on strength or exercises to build muscles. If your child has not yet reached puberty, avoid lifting large weights.
Make sure you use healthier alternatives, including bands, flexible tubes, and body weights exercises, like pushups and squats. They build strength without putting joints and bones in danger.
Prepubescent children must not try a one-rep maximum (the maximum weight a person can lift in one go) in the gym.
Children are in the greatest danger of injuries during growth spurts, like those seen in their teens. If a child lifts too much weight or has the wrong form in throwing or running, he or she could be prone to severe injuries.
Ages 15 and over
When your teenager is past puberty and can now lift weights, encourage them to join an exercise class or even a couple of sessions with an experienced. Incorrect posture could cause injury to muscles and lead to fractures.
If your teenager is interested in endurance events such as marathons or triathlons, there’s no reason to deny it (although some races have age requirements for participants).
Remember that proper training is equally essential for teenagers just as for parents. Keep an eye on the diet and fluid intake and be able to recognize symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
Activeness at any age helps improve overall health.
Establishing a solid base is essential in preparing children to become healthy adults. Kids are active by nature, and encouraging this through fitness instruction will help create long-lasting habits.