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How Much Exercise Do Kids Really Need?

By Genevieve Cunningham

If you've ever been around kids of almost any age, then you already know that most are absolutely bursting with energy. They jump and scream and wiggle. They're constantly asking to play. Unfortunately in today's world, kids aren't getting the movement they need to expel this energy. And it's showing -- in their health, their mental well-being, and their long-term goals and aspirations. The truth is that kids really need exercise, and it's our job as parents to help them get it. If you have kids that you would like to move in a healthier direction, take a look at these tips for activity in their lives.

What's the Recommendation?

The recommendation for kids is slightly different for adults. For most adults, experts suggest at least 30 minutes of exercise at least four times per week. But for kids, the recommendation is at least 60 minutes of exercise daily. Because kids have so much energy and because they're growing so rapidly, they need to constantly release energy, build muscles, and practice coordination.

Consequences of Inactivity

When we don't get enough exercise, there are consequences that we should expect, and this pertains to children as well. Inactivity can lead to weight gain, insomnia, headaches, sore and stiff joints, muscle weakening, and even lack of interest and focus in life. Research also suggests that skipping exercise significantly heightens the risk of major diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and others.

How to Get More Movement

So how can you help your child get more movement? It's probably easier than you think. We, as adults, tend to make it more complicated than it has to be. If your child is fairly young, simply take them outside to play. Kids can easily get enough movement through normal play. If your child is a bit older, get them involved in a local activity. This might mean a sport or class that encourages movement. As a parent, your job is to provide plenty of opportunity for exercise and open play. 

It's really important to help kids get exercise. They need it for proper health and growth now, and they also need it to help set proper precedence in the future. Find some fun activities, encourage your kids, and help them start a healthy lifestyle to last a lifetime.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Livermore, Calif.

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