The simple answer is lots! Daily physical activity is critical for kids. Physically, it improves their stamina, builds better balance posture and flexibility, strong bones and muscles and helps control weight; mentally, it builds better social interaction with friends, learning new skills while having fun and better focus and concentration during school.
While toddlers should be active through the day, for school going kids, at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous activity time is recommended. This should include structured activities as well as plenty of outdoor free play time. Equally, it is important to avoid long periods of inactivity. While that is challenging with classes online, kids should be encouraged to get up and move for 10 - 20 minutes every 2 hours.
So what counts as moderate and vigorous activity? Well there is the simple ‘sing test’. If, while doing the activity the child can:
Sing comfortably - low intensity activity
Talk comfortably but not sing - moderate activity
Needs to stop to talk - vigorous activity
Here are some examples of activities of moderate and vigorous intensity:
Swimming, Cycling, catch and throw, brisk walking
Running, jumping/skipping using a rope, martial arts, sports, playing running games like fire and ice, dancing
Climbing on a tree, climbing on playground equipment, tug of war, yoga
Short bursts of fun free play is also great for those 10-20 mins breaks. Find some here.
Some tips to keep the momentum going
- Be active as a family. It’s not just kids who need the movement, you do too. Plus it's a great way to bond with the kids and have a fun time!
- Dress for the activity. Make sure the kids wear appropriate clothing that is comfortable, stretchable and breathable. The same goes for the Kids Shoes. The shoes should be flexible and allow for the foot to move naturally and have a wide front so the toes have space to spread for good balance. If you are yet to find these, check our tips for choosing the Best Kids Shoes Online.
- Fix a broad time of the day that is all about play. It should become part of the daily routine and give a natural break from regular work.
So laugh, play and be active, everyday!