Leading a healthy active lifestyle has many benefits, including: mental health, social interactions, physical development and academic achievements. Because of the many positives, we are increasingly trying to raise participation in sports throughout the school.
Leading a healthy active lifestyle with regular exercise is proven to have many positive benefits for children and young people. Some of the benefits include;
- improved fitness
- providing an opportunity to socialise
- increased concentration
- improved academic scores
- building a stronger heart, bones, and healthier muscles
- encouraging healthy growth and development
- improving self-esteem
- improving posture and balance
- lowering stress
- encouraging a better night’s sleep
Recommended exercise and times
Children of all ages should be frequently active throughout the day:
Children under the age of 5 but are walking by themselves
Should be active for at least a total of 180 minutes (3hours) per day, this does not need to all be done at once and can be done throughout their day. Young children of this age can get up to a mix of activities between structured and unstructured play of varying intensities. It is key for children of this age to improve their coordination and balance which can help them through their years of development.
Some activities include; running/playing in the park, climbing or obstacle courses, throwing and catching games, using a scooter or bike, trampolining or walking various distances.
Children and young people 5-18 years
Children and young people who are in this bracket should be taking part in more moderate to vigorous physical activities. They should spend at least 60 minutes (1 hour) every day, this can be done over several hours. Moderate intensity activities are those that raise your heartbeat, this will cause you to breathe harder and cause you to start sweating (but you should still be able to talk).
Some examples of moderate intensity activities are; biking, walking briskly, dancing, water aerobics etc.
Vigorous intensity activities means your heart and breathing rate increases significantly (talking is also very difficult when taking part). Children should look to be doing higher intensity and resistance activities at least 3 times a week. This will help to improve their core skills but also strengthen their muscles and bones.
Some examples of these exercises; running/athletics, swimming, playing team sports and HIIT etc.