Introducing Children To Exercise

Group of kids running over grass on a sunny dayEncouraging your child to participate in physical activities is a great way to get him or her familiar with exercise. In fact, studies show that when your child participates in various activities, he or she is less likely to experience an overuse injury. It is recommended that your child gets at least an hour of exercise each day. For children, this may appear in the form of running around or playing outdoors.

So how do you introduce your child to exercise? It depends on the age. What may work for a younger child might not be successful with a teenager.

 5 Years Old And Under

Team sports are a great way for young children to get involved in exercise. At this age, it’s important for sports to be fun and not a competition. Sports like soccer, basketball and T-ball are excellent for children five and under.

Ages 6 To 8 Years Old

As children get older, their skills progress and activities like gymnastics and riding a bike become easier. This is a great time to expose your child to a variety of physical activities so they can determine what’s the best fit.

Ages 9 to 14 Years Old

This is the age range where children gain better hand-eye coordination. They also tend to become more competitive at this age, so it’s OK to encourage competition, as long as it’s friendly. Discourage heavy weight lifting and encourage lighter strength training, such as stretchy tubes and bands.

Ages 15 And Up

At this age, children may begin to express interest in endurance activities, such as triathlons or marathons. It’s important for your child to focus on proper training to avoid injury. Continue to encourage your child to be active, which will help build a healthy foundation for exercise moving forward.

Continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog for more kid-friendly activities, healthy living tips and medical information. We love to make your life as a parent as easy as possible!

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

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