Fit Kids

Help Your Kids to Be Active!

Different types of activities offer different benefits. Variety helps prevent boredom.

Aerobic activities make your child's heart beat faster and make them breathe harder. These activities help strengthen the heart and lungs and increase endurance. Examples include brisk walking, jogging or running; bicycling; active dancing; swimming.

dumbell Strengthening activities help make muscles, bones and joints strong. They can even help improve posture and prevent injury. Examples include resistance or weight training, push-ups and sit-ups. Ask you child's health care provider if weight training is OK for your child. Make sure they are properly trained and that the use of equipment is supervised.

Flexibility activities stretch muscles, tendons and ligaments so the body has a full range of motion. They also help prevent injuries and increase relaxation. Some examples include yoga or stretching.

Sports and other active games are great ways to be active. They also help a child learn social skills - like cooperation, develop friendships and stay out of trouble by giving them something to do after school. Encourage your child to get involved in a team or individual sport in school or in your community recreation center. Help prepare your child by helping him or her learn the basic skills like kicking, throwing, bouncing and catching a ball.

Moderate and vigorous activities are both important for children. With moderate activity, they will feel some exertion, but they should still be able to carry on a conversation comfortably. Examples include dancing or walking fast.

Vigorous activity raises their heart and breathing rates. Examples include jogging or bicycling uphill. The more vigorous the activity, the more energy (calories) it uses in a shorter amount of time.

How much energy does it use?
Here are some examples of activities that use 150 calories*:

Jumping rope or climbing stairs for 15 minutes Playing basketball for 15-20 minutes Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes
Riding a bicycle 5 miles in 30 minutes Swimming laps for 20 minutes Dancing fast for 30 minutes


*Exact number of calories burned depends on the person's weight.

The more activities your child tries, the more likely your child will find something that he or she enjoys - and will continue into adulthood.

Here is a list of other sites that can help you and your children create healthy habits:

 

KIDNETIC
This site for kids 9-12 promotes healthy eating and active living. It is sponsored by the International Food Information Council in partnership with the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Dietetic Association, and National Recreation and Parks Association, among others.
KIDSHEALTH
Created by the Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media. Kids Health provides families with accurate, up-to-date, and jargon-free health information they can use.
For kids: www.kidshealth.org/kid/
For Teens: www.teenshealth.org/
NUTRITION CAFE
This site sponsored by the Pacific Science Center and Washington State Dairy Council, offers nutritional information through a variety of games.
WE CAN!
We Can! or "Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition" is a national program designed for families and communities to help children achieve a healthy weight.
BAM!
This site by the CDC promotes strong bodies and minds in "tweens"
VERB
This site by the CDC offers information for "tweens" on physical activity.
GIRLS HEALTH
This site, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, focuses on current health information for girls
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