Health Canada recommends that children aged 5 to 17 should do at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. Physical activity is linked to a healthy lifestyle at any age and is essential for the health and proper development of children. Children who do not move enough are at higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other cardiovascular diseases.
Regular physical activity has the following benefits for kids:
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Increase muscle strength and endurance as well as flexibility
- Improve bone health and density
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce risk for chronic diseases and health problems
- Reduce likelihood of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use
- Feeling of well-being on a daily basis due to the improvement in metal health (decreased risk of depression)
- Improve cognitive function such as thinking and memory
Incorporating physical activity into your child’s daily routine provides lifelong benefits while instilling a healthy lifestyle from a very young age.