Q:

When should children begin getting regular physical activity?

A:

Quick Answer

Starting around age 5, children should be getting at least an hour of medium to high intensity activity on a daily basis. Younger children can engage in exercise with the use of physical games such as tag and visits to a playground. Children who are even younger, mostly around toddler age, should be getting a significant amount of physical activity every day.

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When should children begin getting regular physical activity?
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Full Answer

In the early childhood stage, physical activity is an essential component of learning to use the full range of human motor skills, and caregivers can incorporate toys and games to stimulate physical play in toddlers. With older children, regular physical activity is indicated as a means of muscular development in addition to other health concerns such as obesity prevention and habit setting for adult life. For older children, bone strengthening activities such as running and other high-impact exercises should be incorporated in addition to aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (strength training) exercises for a well-rounded exercise regimen.

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