During the month of May, National Physical Fitness & Sports Month provides an opportunity to celebrate and promote physical activity and the benefits of sports participation.
Physical activity is key to maintaining health and well-being. Getting active can improve fitness and reduce stress, reduce risk for many chronic diseases, and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Youth sports can help kids and teens get active and develop leadership, time management, and relationship-building skills.
You know kids need physical activity to grow up strong and healthy. But did you know it can help them feel better right away? And when your kids are feeling good, your life is easier too. So find ways to help your kids fit more activity into their day.
How much do they need?
Kids and teens ages 6 to 17 need at least 60 minutes every day. Most of it can be moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Anything that gets their heart beating faster counts. At least 3 days a week, encourage your kids to step it up to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Use the “talk test” to find out if the exercise is moderate or vigorous. If you’re breathing hard but can still have a conversation easily, it’s moderate-intensity activity. If you can only say a few words before you have to take a breath it’s vigorous-intensity activity.
As part of their daily 60 minutes, kids and teens also need Muscle-Strengthening and Bone Strengthening activities. Anything that makes their muscles work harder counts, like climbing, swinging, running, jumping or other weight-bearing activities.
It all adds up. Help them get active now, and they’ll build healthy habits for life. So, take the first step. Get your kids moving and when you can, move with them!