Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, by Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK
Physical activity for children and young people aged 5-18 while staying at home
Regular physical activity in children and young people is associated with improved learning, better mental health, healthier weight status and better cardiovascular fitness. At a time when the population is being asked to stay at home, finding ways to keep children physically active can be challenging. Heart Research UK have some tips to help children and young people meet the recommended amount of physical activity while staying at home.
How much physical activity is recommended?
The Government recommends that children and young people aged 5 to 18 years engage in two types of physical activity every week: aerobic exercises and activities that strengthen muscles and bones. Children and young people should aim to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
Your heart will beat faster, you will breathe harder, you will get warmer and you can probably maintain a conversation
E.g. Brisk Walking, running, cycling, skateboarding or riding a scooter
Activities to strengthen muscles and bones
E.g. Skipping, sit-ups, press-ups, dance & games such as tug-of-war
Avoid too much time sitting in front of a screen
It is common for children and young people to spend too much time sitting in front of a screen. Why not limit this to a set amount of time each day/week and schedule in some time for getting active and away from the screen.
Make physical activity fun with
Look online for inspiration for getting kids and young people active and having some fun. Change 4 Life provide some good tips https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities/indoor-activities and there are also some online Physical Activity coaches who run free online sessions for kids.
Work out together
Try exercising as a family as this can be motivating for children and young people. Going for a family bike ride/walk or dancing around the house to your favourite songs can be a fun way to get moving together. You could also inspire others by posting videos of your activities on social media.