“A Video Every American Needs To Watch”
 
 

Physical Activity (click to download PDF)

Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy. The following information is largely adapted from the Department of Health and Human Services publication entitled “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans”.

The key guidelines from that publication are as follows:

  • Preschool children (ages 3 through 5) should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development. A reasonable target is 3 hours per day of activity.
  • Children and adolescents (ages 6 through 17) should do 1 hour per day of moderate to vigorous physical activities. Activities can be categorized as follows:
    • Aerobic activity should represent most of the physical activity. Vigorous activity should be conducted at least 3 days per week
    • Muscle-strengthening activity should be part of the 60 minutes at least 3 days per week
    • Bone-strengthening activity should also be part of that 60 days, also at least 3 days per week

The following table, also adapted from the HHS publication provides examples of the types of exercise in each category

Type of Physical ActivityPreschool ChildrenSchool-Aged ChildrenAdolescents
AerobicGames such as tag or follow the leader

Playing on a playground

Tricycles of bicycle riding

Walking, running, skipping, jumping, dancing

Swimming

Playing games that require catching, throwing and kicking

Gymnastics or tumbling
Brisk walking

Running

Bicycle riding

Active recreation such as hiking, riding a scooter, swimming

Playing games that require catching and throwing, such as baseball and softball

Jumping rope

Cross-country skiing

Sports such as soccer, basketball, swimming, tennis

Martial arts

Vigorous dancing
Brisk walking

Running

Active recreation such as kayaking, hiking, swimming

Playing games that require catching and throwing such as baseball and softball

House and yard work such as sweeping and pushing a lawn mower

Some video games that include continuous movement

Jumping rope

Cross-country skiing

Sports such as soccer, basketball, swimming, tennis

Martial art

Vigorous dancing
Muscle strengtheningGames such as tug or war

Climbing on playground equipment

Gymnastics
Games such as tug of war

Resistance exercises using body weight or resistance bands

Rope or tree climbing

Climbing on playground equipment

Some forms of yoga
Games such as tug of war

Resistance exercise using body weight, resistance bands, weight machines, hand-held weights

Some forms of yoga
Bone strengtheningHopping, skipping, jumping

Jumping rope

Running

Gymnastics
Hopping, skipping, jumping

Jumping rope

Running

Sports that involve jumping or rapid change in direction
Jumping rope

Running

Sports that require jumping or rapid changes in direction

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