For kids and teens to grow up healthy, it’s important that they adopt physical activities and eat healthy food every day. Children must stick to a healthy lifestyle from an early age to develop good habits that they can keep for the rest of their lives.
How long should my children be practicing daily?
Daily physical activity can include free play, multiple games, sports, active means of transport (walking, cycling), recreation and physical education. High intensity activities make children sweat and feel « short of breath », meaning they can only say a few words between each breath. Running and swimming quickly or for a long time are examples of this type of activity. Moderate activities also make children sweat and cause a bit of heavy breathing, but they can still talk while moving, for example, when they walk quickly or ride a bike. Activities that strengthen muscles and bones include skipping rope, running, and competitive sports like tennis and basketball.
Infant (0 to 12 months)
He/she must be physically active several times a day. At least 30 minutes spent on his/her stomach during the day. Active play starts at birth, especially with ground games, including time spent on the belly, reaching, pushing, pulling and crawling.
Toddlers (1 to 2 years)
180 minutes of physical activity during the day (organized or non-organized physical activity, free play). The activities should be fun and encourage your toddler to explore and try new things.
Preschoolers (3 to 4 years old)
They must progressively move to at least 60 minutes of energetic play (vigorous moderate intensity physical activity) at age 5. Children of this age do not understand the rules and are often not coordinated enough to participate in organized sports. Other ideas vary between walking, running, playing tag, swimming (starting at age 4), tumbling, dancing, throwing and catching.
Children (5 to 9 years old)
At least 60 minutes of moderate to high physical activity each day, including: high intensity activities at least 3 days a week; activities that strengthen muscles and bones at least 3 days a week. The chosen sports must have the following characteristics: brief instructions, flexible rules, free time for children and a focus on fun. Other suggestions: walking to school, playing football or baseball, gymnastics, skating and skiing.
Children (10 to 12 years old)
At least 60 minutes of moderate to high physical activity each day, including: high intensity activities at least 3 days a week; activities that strengthen muscles and bones at least 3 days a week. Children do not all reach puberty at the same age. Therefore, size, physical strength and maturity vary considerably between them.
Teenagers (13 to 17 years old)
Activities should be fun and practice with friends is recommended. Teens are ready to engage in activities focused on their physical condition (after-school fitness class), active means of transport (walking, cycling), housework, sports, whether competitive or not (improvised basketball game)… Other suggestions: canoeing, hiking, in-line skating, outdoor maintenance and games where you have to throw and catch a ball…