Physical Activity Guidelines for Young Children

Physical Activity Guidelines for Young Children

Physical Activity Guidelines for Children

At Little Runners, we understand the importance of physical activity for children and by enriching the school day we provide an impressive breakfast and afterschool club offering a broad range of activities to help children get fit, healthy and active.  We thought it would be useful to outline some of the physical activity guidelines recommended for children.

What are the physical activity guidelines for children aged 5-18 years old?

NHS Choices recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Running and cycling, both, are examples of vigorous activities and should be incorporated with moderate activities such as walking to school, playing in the playground or skateboarding. Three days a week should include bone and muscle building exercises such as jumping, running and push-ups. The infographic below from the NHS website shows the benefits of physical activity.

Which muscle strengthening exercises are suitable for children?

The NHS recommend activities to build muscle strength and the activities to help build muscle strength include playground equipment bars, yoga, gymnastics, rugby, football and tennis to mention a few.  Our programme of sports offers children the opportunity to build strength and stamina as well as build muscle. In line with NHS physical activities guidelines, our activities fit in well with building muscle strength, encouraging children to grow healthy as they enter adulthood. The opportunities at Little Runners are endless, and if you are thinking of helping your child get fit and healthy, you can view the Little Runners timetable to see what we offer.

How can I help my child build strong bones?

Promoting healthy growth of bones and strength is important. Activities to build bone strength include jumping and climbing, running, dancing, martial arts and basketball. Any form of exercise which includes working against a resistance will help to strengthen bones. Children should take part in activities appropriate for their age group.  Some of the activities such as gymnastics contribute to improving core flexibility and spatial awareness.

Exercise can help the mind too.

Your child will benefit from exercise as they go through the school years able to cope with exams and challenges that face them. Exercising increases the blood flow to the brain, providing more oxygen. This, in turn, helps children in the classroom when they study and assist them to focus on the task at hand.

Sleep is also improved and a good night sleep is what a child needs to start their school day. Children benefit from physical activities as it helps the mind focus. Children who exercise become increasingly confident and form healthy habits as they grow into adults. We encourage children to try all the activities and find what’s best for them. Having fun during exercise and through practice, children benefit from learning various skills outside the classroom too.

Improving the mood

After a great exercise session, a feeling of accomplishment and evidently an improvement in mood helps children with self-esteem.  From slouching around on the couch playing computer games to watching tv, exercise has tremendous benefits.

Below is an infographic from the NHS site showing the benefits of exercise.

Useful links

For further reading you can visit the links below:

NHS Choices Website

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