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Kids need three kinds of activities to keep their bones, muscles and heart healthy.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 by Maggie LaBarbera

In my last post I discussed some tips on how to help kids to be active as a part of a daily lifestyle.

To build on that, I wanted to talk a little more about exercise.

There are three kinds of exercise that important for your child.

1.  Aerobic exercise for the heart:

You will often hear that kids need moderate to intense exercise (aerobic activity). Activities that raise our heart rate are moderate to intense depending upon how much it raises our heart rate.  This is important for all of us because our heart is a muscle and it needs exercise too.  When we do activities that raise our heart rate, we are essentially making our heart exercise.  We also breath harder when we are doing aerobic activity and this is good for the lungs.

Here are some examples of moderate activities for kids:

  • Walking briskly
  • Swimming
  • Bicycle riding
  • Tennis (doubles)
  • Hiking
  • Skate boarding
  • Roller blading
  • Ice skating
Here are some examples of intense or vigorous activity:
  • Race walking
  • Playing tag
  • Martial arts
  • Skipping
  • Swimming laps
  • Tennis (singles)
  • Fast paced dancing like dance revolution
  • Cross country skiiing
  • Jumping rope
  • Field hockey
  • Hiking uphill
2.  Kids also need bone strengthening activities.

These are activities where we we essentially putting weight or force on the bones.  This is important because it stimulates our bones to be grow and be strong.

Activities that produce impact on the bones (usually from the ground) include:

  • Running
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Hopscotch
  • Jumping rope
  • Skipping
  • Potato sack race
  • Hopping on one or both feet
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Hopscotch
  • Gymnastics
  • Hip hop dancing
3.  Finally, kids also need muscle strengthening activities.

These are activities that make muscles small and large do more work than usual.  For adults this is usually accomplished from weight lifting or resistance exercises.

Common muscle strengthening activities for kids include:

  • Push ups
  • Rope climbing
  • Tree climbing
  • Sit ups
  • Climbing trees
  • Playing tug of war
  • Monkey bars
  • Wheel barrel races
You can see that many of the activities listed can actually fall into all three categories.  The important thing is to help kids find activities that keep them moving around and having fun.  When kids are actively playing they will naturally do activities that help the heart, muscles and bones grow healthy and strong.

Activity family agreement

Activity printable tracking sheet

Fun Activity for kids

Get the kids moving!

Limiting kids TV time



1 Comment

Sensei J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc.
Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 @ 09:52 AM

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We used to just get sent outside to play. Now thanks a great deal to video games, we have 25% obesity in children. Now, I believe we need family activities to accomplish exercise for everyone instead of just sending the kids outside to play Rick

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