Q: Why should children exercise?
A: According to the American Heart Association, increased physical activity has been associated with increased life expectancy and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Children who exercise regularly improve their cardiovascular health, strengthen their heart muscles and maintain better endurance in sports. How often should children exercise?
To reap benefits, children ages two and older should participate in at least 30 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity activities every day. They also should perform at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical activities -such as horseplay, dancing, biking and swimming-a minimum of three to four days a week. This large-muscle movement at a rapid rate helps achieve and maintain a good level of heart and lung fitness. 

Q: What other benefits do children gain from exercising?
A: Children who exercise may experience:

  • Lungs that stay healthier longer;
  • Less depression and stress;
  • Reduced blood pressure;
  • Raised HDL ("good") cholesterol;
  • An increase in the burning of calories;
  • A decreased risk of type I and type II diabetes; and
  • More self- confidence and self-esteem.

Q: How can I help my child like exercise?
A: Any form of physical activity that is regular, enjoyable and sustainable will help your child embrace exercise. The goal is to teach them to enjoy exercise while they are young so they may develop lifelong passions for activities that will keep their hearts and bodies in the best health possible. 

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