It’s never too early to introduce youngsters to enjoyable sports and fitness activities in order to foster a passion of physical activity in them. According to medical professionals, engaging in various activities helps to build muscles and motor abilities while lowering the chance of overuse injuries.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)Trusted Sources advises children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 to engage in at least an hour of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity each day in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. A 60-minute workout plan should include muscle-building strength training exercises at least three days a week.
This may seem excessive, but when you consider all the running and playing a kid who’s active engages in on a daily basis, it’s simple to understand how the minutes may add up. Here are some recommendations to assist you in selecting age-appropriate physical activity for your children.
Children between the ages of 3 and 5 should engage in physical activity every day. Regular exercise can help strengthen bones and establish habits that maintain them at a healthy weight as they mature.
Soccer, basketball, or T-ball are examples of team sports that preschoolers can participate in as long as their requirements are reasonable. At this age, sports should focus more on enjoyment than competition. Most 5-year-old kids lack the coordination necessary to hit a pitched ball and lack true ball-handling ability on the basketball court or soccer field.
Another good approach to get your kid moving is through swimming. It’s okay to introduce children to water safety between the ages of six months and three.
Preschoolers and their parents are advised to first participate in a basic course, according to the American Red Cross, the nation’s foremost organization for water safety and education.
Before beginning regular swimming lessons, these programs typically teach bubble blowing and underwater exploring. At around age 4 or 5, children are prepared to acquire control over their breathing, floating, and fundamental strokes.
By the time they are six years old, children have enough development to be able to pass a basketball or soccer ball and hit a pitched baseball. Additionally, they are capable of performing gymnastics routines and riding a two-wheeler with assurance. The time is now to introduce kids to a variety of sports and fitness-related activities.
Different sports place different stresses on growth plates, and the variation ensures a healthy overall development. When kids play the same sport year after year, overuse ailments (such stress fractures and heel pain in soccer players) become more prevalent.
At this point, hand-eye coordination really begins to develop. Children can typically hit and throw a baseball properly, as well as make good contact with a golf or tennis ball. Encouragement of competition is acceptable as long as winning doesn’t take center stage.
Long-distance running competitions and short triathlons are both safe for kids to participate in as long they have prepared for them and drink plenty of water.
As they approach adolescence, children may grow disinterested in the structured setting of organized sports. They might want to concentrate on workouts that increase their strength or muscle mass. However, prevent your youngster from carrying large weights until they have reached puberty.
Encourage healthier alternatives like flexible bands and tubes as well as workouts that use your own body weight, like squats and pushups. These increase strength without endangering bones and joints.
Never let a prepubescent child attempt a one-rep max in the weight room (the most weight they can lift in one go).
Children are most susceptible to injuries during times of rapid growth, such as those that occur in the early teen years. A youngster who raises too much weight or runs or throws improperly can sustain injuries.
Encourage your kid to enroll in a weight-training program or a few sessions with a professional once they have completed puberty and are ready to lift weights. Muscle damage and fractures can result from improper form.
There is no reason to say no if your high schooler exhibits interest in endurance competitions like triathlons or marathons (although many events have age minimum requirements).
Keep in mind that teens need good instruction just as much as their parents do. Just be mindful of your diet and hydration, and get familiar with the symptoms of heat-related sickness.
It’s crucial to lay a solid foundation for health while raising kids who will grow up to be healthy people. Children are by nature energetic, thus promoting this fitness guidance will initiate habits.