Exercise And Physical Activity Recommendations For Children And Adolescents

childhood obesity preventionParents should limit sedentary activity and make physical activity and sport a habit of their children. Whatever activities your children become involved in should be appropriate for their ages and development. Make sure children understand basic safety rules. Make sure they have plenty of water to drink to replace fluid lost by sweating.

The following guidelines are the current exercise and physical activity findings for children and adolescents.

Children ages below 4 years (Infants and Toddlers) :

o There is an inadequate fact about exercise findings or classes for children below 4yrs as a means of promoting increased physical activity or preventing child obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that kids up to 2 years should not watch television. Parents need to provide fun, safe, fostering and simply maintained play environment for infants.

o Kids should also be permitted to develop enjoyment of outdoor physical activity and formless exploration under the direction of a responsible adult caregiver.

childhood obesity preventionChildren ages 4–6 Years (Preschool-Aged) :

o Exercise and physical activity should be encouraged through free play with emphasis on fun, bounciness, exploration, and experimentation while being mindful of safety and proper management. Preschool-aged children should take part in unorganized play, if possible on flat surfaces with few variables and instruction limited to a show-and-tell format.

o Suitable activities might include swimming, running, tumbling, throwing, and catching. Children ages 4–6 Years should also begin walking endurable distances with family members. In addition, parents should reduce sedentary transportation by car and stroller and, as applies to all age groups, limit home screen time to less then 2 hrs per day.

childhood obesity exerciseChildren ages 6–9 Years (Elementary School–Aged):

o In this age group, children advance their skills, visual tracking, and balance. Parents should continue to persuade free play involving more sophisticated movement patterns with importance on basic skill attainment. Children should be encouraged to walk, dance, or jump rope and may enjoy playing miniature golf.

o There is little difference between the sexes in weight, height, endurance, and motor skill development at this age; thus, co-ed participation is not contraindicated. Organized sports (soccer, baseball) may be initiated, but they should have flexible rules and short instruction time, allow free time in practices, and focus on enjoyment rather than competition. These children have a limited ability to learn team strategy.

Children ages 10–12 Years (Middle School–Aged):

o Accumulate at least 60 minutes of age appropriate physical activity on most days of the week. Ideal - Accumulate more than 60 minutes, and up to several hours per day, of age and developmentally appropriate activity. Some periods lasting 10-15 minutes or more and include moderate to vigorous activity with brief periods of rest and recovery.

childhood obesity preventiono Favored physical activities that focus on enjoyment with family members and friends should be encouraged as with previous groups. Stress on skill development and increasing focus on procedure and tactic as well as factors supporting continued participation are needed. Fully developed visual tracking, balance, and motor skills are typical in late childhood. Middle school–aged children are better able to process verbal instruction and incorporate information from multiple sources so that participation in complex sports (football, basketball, ice hockey) is more viable.

o Puberty may begin at different rates, making some individuals bigger and stronger than others. Basing placement in contact and collision sports on maturity rather than chronologic age may result in less risk of injury and enhanced chance of success, especially for those at lower Tanner stages. Weight training may be initiated, provided that the program is well supervised, that small free weights are used with high repetitions (15–20), that proper technique is demonstrated, and that shorter sets using heavier weights and maximum lifts (squat lifts, clean and jerk, dead lifts) are avoided.

Adolescents ages 12-19:

o Daily physical activity as part of play, games, sport, work, transportation, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, with the family, in school, or through the community for 30-60 minutes/ day.

family exercising togethero Part of this activity should be vigorous in nature at least 3 times per week as part of play, games, sport, work, transportation, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, with the family, in school, or through the community for 30-60 mins per day. Extended periods of inactivity are inappropriate for children and adolescents.

o Recognizing activities that are of interest to the adolescent, especially those that are fun and include friends, is crucial for long-term participation. Physical activities may include personal fitness preferences (eg, dance, yoga, running), active transportation (walking, cycling), household chores, and competitive and noncompetitive sports. Ideally, enrollment in competitive contact and collision sports should be based on size and ability instead of chronologic age.

preventing child obesity by increased physical activity

o Weight training may continue, and as the individual reaches physical maturity (Tanner stage 5), longer sets using heavier weights and fewer repetitions may be safely pursued while continuing to stress the importance of proper technique.

What if my child is overweight?

All children, even less-coordinated ones, need to be physically active. Activity may be particularly helpful for the physical and psychological well-being of children with a weight problem.


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