Physical Activity and Wellness
According to the CDC, "Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence is important for promoting lifelong health and well-being and preventing various health conditions. The 2008 US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years should have 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day." Physical Activity should include:
- Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.
- Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
- Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
Studies show that teens on average spend more than 7½ hours a day on various media, including watching TV, listening to music, surfing online, and playing video games. So it's no surprise that they can't seem to find the time to exercise or that parents can't motivate them to be active.
Wondering what you can do?
- Make Physical Activity fun! Do something your child enjoys like walking the dog, dancing, kicking a ball together, or flying a kite.
- Go Noodle is a free program that provides short videos to help you keep your young child moving.
- Physical Activity Ideas for before and after school
- Let's Play has ideas for all ages
- Limit screen time (videos, TV, computers, phones)
- Wondering how to limit screen time? Take a look at OUR PACT an app that helps you set limtis on your child's device.
- Take advantage of community resources.
Benefits of Activity
Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as:
- Heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure.
Physical Activity and Achievement
According to the CDC, Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behaviors (e.g., on-task behavior). In addition, higher physical activity and physical fitness levels are associated with improved cognitive performance (e.g., concentration, memory) among students.