60 Minutes a Day
Your child goes to school and tells you at the end of the day that he had gym class. Maybe he also played at recess. Or he has baseball practice that night.
Does all of this add up to enough daily physical activity for the best health possible?
Well, that depends on how much activity he got when you add up all the minutes in gym class, recess and sports practice.
The quick number to look for is this: 60
One hour of play, every day.
To feel great and maintain a healthy weight, children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Physical activity is anything that gets your heart pumping or makes you stronger. This recommendation comes from health leaders at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about these recommendations, visit Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit website or Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit Fact Sheet.
So what can you do?
To help your child hit the 60-minute mark, come up with fun ways to add a little bit more activity for the whole family. It doesn’t matter what it looks like – an organized soccer match or a game of tag with mom or dad in the park. In fact, playing together is easy to fit into a busy day.
- Go for a walk together around the neighborhood.
- Play a game of basketball in the driveway, or hockey if it’s winter.
- Organize an after-dinner bike ride, or a sledding party at the neighborhood park.
- Make it fun, and make it happen!
How active are our children?
If you’re trying to figure out where to find those 60 minutes for physical activity, consider these options:
- Instead of watching that TV program together, turn the TV off and use that time to play together. Need ideas for any season? Visit these links for fun summer, winter and indoor activities for your family.
- You schedule your meetings at work and your doctor’s appointments, too. Why not schedule a physical activity date with your kids? You don’t have to go anywhere. Just head out to your backyard and toss a ball, or build a snowman in the winter.
- Is there a fun run this weekend or a ski event especially for kids? Sign up for events in your community.
Finding ways to add a little more activity to every day can mean big health benefits for your children.