How Early Should Children Start Exercising?

Incorporating exercise into a child’s daily routine has great benefits to their physical and mental growth and development. In the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)Trusted Source recommends children and teens from age 6 to 17 get at least one hour of moderate to high-intensity aerobic exercise every day. Strength-training activities that build muscle should also be part of a 60-minute exercise routine on at least three days of the week. Ensure your children start exercising with the right types of workouts for their age group.

Especially for young children who need near constant physical activity, a home gym would be a great investment. Home gyms are like mini playgrounds in your child’s room or in the play area that your kid can use any time of day, without having to leave the house. With multiple exercise related elements such as ladders, horizontal bars, rings and rope, your child can have hours of uninterrupted workout entertainment. Many parents and children love having home gym playgrounds.

Ages 3 To 5

Children ages 3 to 5 are highly recommended to be physically active throughout the day. Regular activity can help improve bone health and start habits to keep them at a healthy weight as they grow. Team sports such as soccer or basketball are great for pre-schoolers, as long as they are focused on play, not competition. You can also get them to swim, as kids can be safely introduced into the water between 6 months and 3 years old. A basic swimming course would help prepare parents and kids for the water, teaching things such as blowing bubbles and underwater exploration as a precursor to formal swimming lessons. At around age 4 or 5 children are ready to learn breath control, floating, and basic swimming strokes.

Ages 6 to 8

By age 6, children would have developed the motor skills necessary to play baseball, soccer, or basketball. These se great games that you can get them interested in, and even play along with them weekly. They can also ride a bike, or even do gymnastics. Find out which of these activities they like the most, or better yet plan to do all of them on alternate days. By playing a variety of sports, the kids can grow and develop in different ways, and the variety helps ensure overall health development. Changing things up also helps prevent injuries from overuse of the same muscles.

Ages 9 to 11

At this age, hand eye coordination would usually have developed. Children would be able to accurately throw a baseball or connect à racquet with a tennis ball. Some healthy competition would be fine to introduce in here, so long as the focus remains on the fun. Children may even be interested in running races, and are safely able to do so at this age with proper training and hydration.

Ages 12 to 14

Organized sports may seem less appealing to children of this age. Strength or muscle building exercises may be more interesting for them, so it would be good to introduce these to kids of this age group. However, children who have not yet reached puberty should avoid lifting weights. Resistance bands are a great alternative to heavy weights, and body weight exercises are great too, such as squats and push-ups.

Age 15 And Above

Having gone through puberty, weights can be attempted here. Kids who are keen on endurance events such as triathlons or marathons can also pursue training for these.