Healthy exercise for children
As a parent, you want your child to be as
healthy and happy as possible – and there’s plenty
you can do to help them during the long summer holiday.
Keeping your child active and teaching them
about healthy eating can have a
lifelong impact and reduce their risk of coronary heart disease.
- Ask children what activities they enjoy.
Encourage them to follow their interests, and make activity
fun - make a kite and fly it together, teach them to run, skip
or use a hula hoop.
- Encourage your child to spend more time
outdoors and invite friends over to play.
- Play active games with your child both indoors
and out. For example, chasing, hide and seek, hopscotch and
- Encourage them to walk or to do activities
with friends. If they are too young to go alone, go along with
- Provide them with a box of sports equipment,
such as balls, skipping ropes, tennis rackets, frisbees and roller
- Do some regular activity together as a family
to help your children develop a positive attitude towards
- Talk with other parents locally and
arrange games in a nearby park. Take it in turns to supervise
- Praise and encourage children when they are
taking part in an activity - particularly if they are learning a
new skill. Keep feedback positive - and don't push too hard. If
they enjoy the experience they'll keep taking part.
- Be a role model. Children learn by watching
what parents do so show your child you enjoy and value activity by
taking part yourself. Even simple things like walking instead of
using the car can have a big influence.
Take the family out for a day of fun
activities in the open air or go for brisk walks.
If the British weather means you have to stay inside, why not
get your kids to check out some of our great kids' websites. There's lots of advice and
tips to help them stay fit and eat the right food,
and lots of fun games that encourage kids to be heart
Why is physical activity important?
Physical activity is good for your child’s mind, body and soul.
Allowing them to live an inactive lifestyle could have
long-term implications for their health. Being active:
- Helps your child build a healthy heart and develop strong
muscles and bones
- Helps reduce the risk of some chronic diseases in later
- Reduces body fat and helps them feel good about themselves
- Improves their social and moral development and reduces anxiety
- Increases their opportunities to mix with other children and
How much physical activity should my child do?
Children and young people should aim to participate in 60
minutes of physical activity every day such as walking, dancing,
swimming, cycling, active play or other sports.
Kids can build up their muscular strength,
flexibility and bone health through climbing, skipping,
jumping or gymnastics at least twice a week, too.
You don't need to do the full hour of exercise all at
once - split it over the course of the day if you
need to. It doesn't matter how they do it as long as they
get their full hour in.
You can walk with them to and from school, encourage them to
participate in PE lessons, enjoy active play with friends at break
times, and arrange for them to play sport or take part in
structured exercise outside school.