Fitness and Your 6- to 12-Year-Oldenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-fit6To12-enHD-AR1.gifSchool-age kids need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence, and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.fitness, exercises, team sports, working out, gyms, running, walking, hiking, basketball, football, swimming, skiing, rollerblading, ice skating, roller skating, ice hockey, tennis, baseball, field hockey, racquetball, archery, tball, softball, bowling, golf, strength training, anabolic steroids, athletics, athletes, gym classes, physical education, teams, noncompetitive sports, obesity, self-esteem, winning a game, sportsmanship, warming up, warm-ups, stretching, eating disorders, compulsive exercise, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, CD1Obesity, CD1Weight Mgmt05/18/200006/03/201906/03/2019Mary L. Gavin, MD06/01/2019d7b373f3-a8dd-45e2-8d84-2900e5cdbc71https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fitness-6-12.html/<p>Kids this age&nbsp;need physical activity to build strength, coordination, and confidence — and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle. They're also gaining more control over how active they are.</p> <p>School-age kids should have many chances to do a variety of activities, sports, and games that fit their personality, ability, age, and interests. Brainstorm with your kids on activities that feel right. Most kids won't mind a daily dose of fitness as long as it's fun.</p> <p>Physical activity guidelines for school-age kids recommend that they get 1 hour or more of moderate to strong physical activity daily.</p> <p>In addition:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Most of the physical activity should be aerobic,&nbsp;where kids use large muscles and continue for a period of time. Examples of aerobic activity are running, swimming, and dancing.</li> <li>School-age kids usually have brief bouts of moderate to strong physical activity alternating with light activity or rest throughout the day. Any moderate to strong activity counts toward the 60-minute goal.</li> <li>Muscle-strengthening and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/strong-bones.html/">bone-strengthening</a> physical activity should be included at least 3 days a week.</li> <li>Children naturally build strong muscles and bones when they run, jump, and play. Formal weight programs aren't needed, but are safe when properly designed and supervised.</li> </ul> <h3>Fitness at Home</h3> <p>Many parents and kids think of <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/signing-sports.html/">organized sports</a> when they think of fitness. Though there are many advantages to signing a child up for a sports team, practice and games once or twice a week will not be enough to reach activity goals. Also, parents can no longer rely on physical education in schools to provide enough physical activity for kids.</p> <p>Here are some ways to keep your kids moving at home:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Make physical activity part of&nbsp;the daily routine. From household chores to an after-dinner walk, keep your family active every day.</li> <li>Allow enough time for free play. Kids can burn more calories and have more fun when left to their own devices. Playing tag, riding bikes around the neighborhood, and building snowmen are fun and healthy.</li> <li>Keep a variety of games and sports equipment on hand. It doesn't have to be expensive — an assortment of balls, hula-hoops, and jump ropes can keep kids busy for hours.</li> <li>Be active together. It'll get you moving, and kids love to play with their parents.</li> <li>Limit time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching TV, using electronic devices, being online, and playing video games.</li> </ul> <p>If you run out of&nbsp;possibilities at home, take advantage of local playgrounds and athletic fields. Make family fitness outings part of your regular routine. Let family members choose an activity — go hiking, ice skating, or try out the rock-climbing gym. Anything goes, as long as everyone can participate.</p> <p>And remember: You'll help show your kids that exercise is important by regularly exercising yourself.</p> <h3>Fitness for Kids</h3> <p>Through physical activities, kids learn about <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sportsmanship.html/">sportsmanship</a>, setting goals, meeting challenges, teamwork, and the value of practice.</p> <p>Keep in mind your child's age and developmental level, natural abilities, and interests. Kids 6 to 8 years old are sharpening basic physical skills like jumping, throwing, kicking, and catching. Some enjoy doing this in organized sports teams, but non-competitive leagues are best for younger kids. Show your support by coaching your child's team or cheering from the stands on game days.</p> <p>Kids 9 to 12 years old are refining, improving, and coordinating skills. Some become even more committed to a sport while others drop out as competition heats up and level of play improves.</p> <p>It's OK if a child isn't interested in traditional sports, but it's important to find <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hate-sports.html/">alternative ways</a> to be active. Encourage a child who&nbsp;doesn't like soccer, basketball, or other team sports to&nbsp;explore other active options, like karate, fencing, golf, bicycling, skateboarding, and tennis.</p> <h3>Preventing Problems</h3> <p>Kids who participate in sports are at risk for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-safety.html/">injuries</a>, so be sure yours wear the proper protective equipment, such as a helmet and protective pads when roller-blading. Kids who specialize in one sport are also at risk of overuse injuries, including stress fractures and joint injuries.</p> <p>A child with a chronic health condition or disability should not be excluded from fitness activities. Some activities may need to be changed or adapted, and some may be too risky depending on the condition. Talk to your doctor about which activities are safe for your child.</p> <p>Kids who enjoy sports and exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. And staying fit can improve how kids do at school, build&nbsp;<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/self-esteem.html/">self-esteem</a>, prevent obesity, and decrease the risk of serious illnesses such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hypertension.html/">high blood pressure</a>, diabetes, and heart disease later in life.</p> <p>If your child complains of pain during or after physical activity, talk with your doctor.</p>La actividad física y su hijo de 6 a 12 añosLos niños de esta edad necesitan la actividad física para aumentar su fuerza, su coordinación y su confianza en sí mismos, así como para sentar las bases de un estilo de vida saludable. Las recomendaciones para los niños en edad escolar son hacer un mínimo de una hora de actividad física de moderada a intensa al día. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/fitness-6-12-esp.html/fe5fc08c-4572-4b8a-8319-2c79924d6f45
Be a Fit KidA lot of people talk about fit kids, but how do you become one? Here are five rules to live by, if you want to eat right, be active, and keep a healthy weight.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/fit-kid.html/89ce85b3-8b57-42d1-86c4-7c2ea5918dc2
Can Kids With Asthma Play Sports?Kids who have asthma can and do play sports. Find out how to do it safely in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/asthma-sports.html/25dae276-3d36-4a8d-a1a5-21ba8ec546a1
Communication and Your 6- to 12-Year-OldCommunicating with a child is one of the most pleasurable and rewarding experiences for both parent and child. Learn how to connect with your 6- to 12-year-old.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/comm-6-to-12.html/9746b20c-56f5-4ade-ba07-98346acd60d0
Feeding Your Child AthleteAll kids need to eat balanced meals and have a healthy diet. But should that balance change for kids who play on a sports team or work out?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feed-child-athlete.html/f350edce-5b06-4260-9566-d7d4943c2b3a
Fitness and Your 13- to 18-Year-OldKids who enjoy exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. Learn how to encourage fitness in your teen.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fitness-13-18.html/a193fa61-69d8-4278-8058-2a9f7854b240
Fitness and Your 2- to 3-Year-OldKids this age are naturally active, so be sure to provide lots of opportunities for your child to practice basic skills, such as running, kicking, and throwing.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fitness-2-3.html/aafcee7b-c460-4ee9-8e8f-da26898d0810
Fitness and Your 3- to 5-Year-OldTake advantage of your child's natural tendency to be active. Staying fit can help improve kids' self-esteem and decrease the risk of serious illnesses later in life.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fitness-4-5.html/c3f96baa-8d0b-4d36-9c8a-bc78bb8c7e29
Fitness for Kids Who Don't Like SportsSome kids aren't natural athletes and they may say they just don't like sports. What then?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hate-sports.html/4803352a-91f1-4635-aa52-5e3329268f85
Five Ways to Avoid Sports InjuriesSports injuries often can be prevented. Find out how in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/sport-safety.html/bc31bc9c-6500-4895-9182-d5df5ca30f80
Growth and Your 6- to 12-Year-OldAs kids grow from grade-schoolers to preteens, there continues to be a wide range of "normal" as far as height, weight, and shape.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/growth-6-12.html/37f8b9be-e50f-441d-89e6-a0215fe44676
Kids and ExerciseBesides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/exercise.html/f2ac8b06-6d72-4382-8b53-dee0908bc566
Medical Care and Your 6- to 12-Year-OldRegular well-child exams are essential to keep kids healthy and up-to-date with immunizations. Find out what to expect at the doctor's office.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical-care-6-12.html/8e238cac-8901-4fcd-988d-ed4eedd5632b
Motivating School-Age Kids to Be ActiveBeing active is a key component of good health for all school-age kids. So how do you get kids motivated to be active, especially those who aren't gifted athletes?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/schoolage-active.html/688bc175-ec60-4938-aa59-d6880cd75a7d
Nutrition & Fitness CenterWant to know more about eating right and being active? This is the place!https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/center/fitness-nutrition-center.html/769fa688-d110-46ab-bcde-a8e8c20a92a4
What If I Don't Like Sports?Sports can be challenging when you're new to them, but they also can be really fun. Take a second look at sports - and learn other ways to be active - in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/no-sports.html/19064933-aa98-41f4-834d-d22ab4f4322b
Why Exercise Is WiseExercise can help keep a kid's body fit and healthy. Learn more about what exercise can do for you in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/work-it-out.html/ce6e27a0-a9a6-4a1e-a2a2-e6582c2bde40
kh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:clinicalDesignation-generalPediatricskh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-gastroenterologyAndNutritionWeightManagementWellness & Preventionhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hearthealth/wellness/f73a85f7-65f6-43ab-affa-260a02694e4cTraining & Performancehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-medicine-center/training/958538d4-c43c-4e83-af74-05d1be169b87Staying Fithttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/staying-fit/e2c09005-3007-4117-9b82-1a2401cdf977