Physical activities for children

Boy playing table tennis

Our hearts and body love to get moving because it helps you stay healthy. Playing games, playing sports, travelling around on foot or bike are all great ways of staying active.

Many children with congenital heart disease can lead normal, active lives after their treatment.

Some children may find they are limited to an extent in their physical activities, especially if they are quick to tire or become breathless, but most of the time specific restrictions on exercise usually aren’t necessary.

Your child’s cardiologist will tell you if your child should avoid any specific forms of exercise, such as contact sports.

It’s usually best to allow them to join in with their friends’ activities, including some sport at school. They can often then judge for themselves what they are able to do.

Why should my child exercise?

Being active while you’re young will help your child stay happy and strong. Eating healthily and taking part in physical activity can help them:

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • grow strong bones, teeth and muscles
  • keep your heart and lungs healthy
  • have higher energy levels
  • have fun with their friends

Children should aim for an hour of physical activity every day. Don’t worry if this is too much for your child at first. They can slowly work up to it by breaking it into manageable little bits. Walking to and from school is a good way to start.

Your child should always consult their cardiologist before they start any new exercise regime or activity. 

A young boy prepares to throw a dodgeball in a school playground

Host a special BHF activity day at your school

There are three great fundraising events your child’s school can get involved in:

  • Ultimate Dodgeball - this cool competition gets teams from your school competing to be the ultimate dodgeball champions.
  • Artie's Olympics - this activity day has something for everyone with loads of different races and challenges.
  • Jump Rope for Heart - if you love skipping and having fun this is the one for you.