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Getting Your Kids Back into Exercise

Posted by Elizabeth Hughes on 1 December 2020
Getting Your Kids Back into Exercise

The challenges brought along by 2020 completely transformed the lives and routines of our children.

Group sports and school activities changed or completely stopped, and we all spent a lot more time at home. 

Having a good relationship with exercise and doing enough physical activity is essential for our kids' physical and mental wellbeing. With this in mind, it's time to get your kids back into exercise and those good routines. 

How much exercise do kids really need?

Current recommendations state that children aged 5 to 12 should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Unfortunately, around 85% of Australian children aren't meeting this guideline on weekdays, with 84% missing it on weekends. 

Another important recommendation to note is around screen time. We're all getting more and more addicted to our devices, especially with the recent lockdown regulations in place. Recommendations state that kids aged 2 to 5 have no more than 60 minutes of sedentary screen time, and no more than 120 minutes for kids aged 5 to 17. Shockingly only 35% of kids aged 5 to 12 meet these recommendations, with only 20% following this once they get to 13 to 17 years old. 

The benefits

Exercise has a wide range of benefits at all ages. It's important, however, to instil the right attitude and routine early on as physically active kids are more likely to become active adults.

Keeping your kids active will:

  • Improve their cognitive health so they can function better at school
  • Improve their fitness
  • Give them a chance to socialise and learn teamwork skills through group sports
  • Encourage healthy development
  • Build stronger bones and muscles
  • Improve posture and balance
  • Lower stress and encourage better sleep 

Exercise in lockdown

Lockdown halted group sports, but there are so many ways to introduce exercise into your kid's routine that they'll enjoy and look forward to!

Keep things fun at home by encouraging your kids to dance, play games like hide and seek, or play in the backyard instead of sitting in front of their devices. Our director Zoltan loves spending time in the pool with his kids but is excited to get back to being a footy dad on the weekends. 

And if you have a kid that just won't walk away from the TV, don't worry, Nintendo has introduced a range of exercise-based games like Just Dance or Zumba. There are also a number of free resources online like these exercise videos from Fitness Blender

Getting the whole family involved

There are so many fun family activities that will keep you and your kids active while allowing you to spend quality time together. 

Instead of spending your weekends at a crowded shopping centre or restaurant, get outdoors. Research found that just 120 minutes a week in the outdoors is all you need to see significant health benefits compared to not going outside. 

Great outdoor exercises include walking, hiking, and bike riding. A bike, scooter, or some rollerblades also make great Christmas presents!

Are you struggling to get your kids physically active? An accredited Exercise Physiologist can help guide your child to find an activity that works for them and gets them excited about exercise. 

You can call us on 4957 2961 to book an appointment.

Elizabeth HughesAuthor: Elizabeth Hughes
About: Exercise Physiologist
Tags: Newcastle Physiotherapy Exercise Physiology Newcastle exercise for kids

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