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When Can Young Kids Start Exercising?

I have a 5-year-old son. Is he too young to start exercising?
- Dorea

Encouraging kids to be physically active is important at any age. In fact, kids who are active at a young age tend to stay active later in life — and have a lower risk of becoming obese or developing heart disease.

At 5 years old, your child will get exercise mostly from playing — running, playing tag, or kicking a ball around, for example. So make sure he gets plenty of time outside, away from the TV. And join in as much as possible. Not only will both of you enjoy the time spent together, but he'll also benefit from the active example you set.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013