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Are Your Kids Getting Enough Exercise?

By Sara Butler

Are your kids active? And what constitutes enough physical activity for your kids to be considered active, anyway? School-age children and teens should get about 60 minutes of physical activity per day, preschoolers even more at about two hours per day. That may not sound like a ton of time, but a whopping 75 percent of kids aren't getting at least an hour per day of physical activity. The reason is that many parents believe a few of the very common myths about physical activity and children. Here are the myths you need to be aware of so you can help your child reach their daily goals.

Myth No. 1: Kids Get a Lot of Physical Activity at School

Parents often think that between physical education and recess that children get plenty of time to play when they're at school. If only that were true! The truth of the matter is that even though it's well documented that breaks, physical education, and recess help to improve children's behavior in the classroom and contribute to better health, your child probably isn't hitting 60 minutes per day of physical activity at school.

Myth No. 2: If Your Child Isn't Overweight, They're Active Enough

No matter weight, every child has the same requirements for physical activity. Yes, it is true that physical activity helps children to maintain a healthy weight, there are other benefits to being active that all children need including:

  • Improved mental health
  • Stronger bones
  • Stronger muscles
  • Stronger joints
  • Improved social development
  • Improved behavior

So, even if your child is at a healthy weight, that doesn't give them a pass on their 60 minutes or more of exercise per day.

Myth No. 3: A Little Screen Time is No Biggie

OK, so this one is grounded in at least a little truth. A little bit of screen time doesn't really hurt your child, but often, it's not simply a little bit of time they're getting. Your child shouldn't have more than two hours of screen time per day. If they're home with you, then instead of turning on the television or the tablets, do something active together instead.

Myth No. 4: Your Child Must Participate in Sports to be Active

Active doesn't have to be defined by athleticism. If your child isn't a fan of sports, then it's not a big deal. It just means they need to find something they do enjoy doing in order to be active.

Try biking, dance, tag, skateboarding, hiking, or even the trampoline park to get your kid moving. Even yoga is an acceptable way to be active if your child has an interest in it. And even if your kids are of the sporty persuasion, they still may need to do other things in order to work enough activity into their day.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Queen Creek, Ariz.

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