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Most of us are well aware that exercise is beneficial for children’s health and development. Exercise can have many benefits for children. These include:
What can cause some confusion is how much exercise your child should do and what type of exercise is good for your child. For children aged 5-18, 60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week is recommended by NHS guidelines. It is important that at least some of this exercise is vigorous. Vigorous activity is exercise that causes you to become out of breath. When doing vigorous exercise saying more than a few words without a break will be difficult. For children, vigorous activity could include playing chasing, dancing or football.
Some exercise can be done at moderate intensity. When doing moderate intensity exercise you should be able to talk but not sing. Examples of moderate intensity exercise for children could include walking, cycling on flat ground, relaxed play in the playground.
Completing some strengthening exercise is also important for children. Strengthening exercises that are appropriate for children could include swinging on bars in a playground, playing tug of war, or gymnastics training. This will help build up bone density and muscle strength.
If your child is playing multiple sports you need to be aware that your child could be over-training. Your child may be more irritable and may display a loss of motivation. If your child is reporting increased muscle soreness or an increased occurrence of injuries you may need to question whether your child is overtraining.
For further information on exercise for children, contact us at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy.