According to the Department of Health and Human Services, children need at least an hour a day of physical exercise. They should be involved in activities such as running, jumping, climbing, or cycling at least three days a week. Children also need muscle-strengthening activities, bone-strengthening activities, and body-weight exercises three days a week. 

Kids who are physically active throughout the day enhance their growth and development. parents should encourage them to participate in any level of physical activity. School-age kids normally achieve the required time by playing on the playground. They also get a chance to take part in organized sports events such as soccer, baseball, football, and basketball to stay fit. 

Encourage Kids to Participate in Activities They Love

You can get as creative as possible and search for activities your kids enjoy. For example, if your child is a nature lover, you can consider a nature trek. For someone who loves beaches, you can consider a picnic to collect shells and pebbles. If your kid loves climbing, go to the nearest jungle gym or climbing wall. Zumba, dance, aerobics, and gymnastics are also some of the options you may consider. 

How Many Hours of Exercise Do Kids Need Each Day?

AgeDurationKind of Activity
Below 1 year30 minutes a dayTummy Time 
1 to 3 years3 hours a dayEnergetic Play
3 to 5 years3 hours a dayEnergetic Play
5 to 18 years1 hour a dayModerate to Vigorous exercise
Over 18 years2.5 to 5 hours a weekModerate to Vigorous exercise


What Counts as Moderate-Intensity Exercise? 

Moderate exercise will make your kid breathe faster and feel warmer. Here’s the list of moderate exercises that count. 

  • Walking
  • Physical education
  • Skipping
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Sports
  • Playground activities
  • Jumping
  • Running
  • Catching

What Exercises Strengthen Muscles and Bones? 

  • Martial arts
  • Jumping
  • Gymnastics
  • Weight Machine
  • Handheld Weights
  • Sit-ups
  • Push-ups

What Kind of Exercise Should Your Baby (Under 1 Year) Do?

If they are not crawling yet, encourage them to be active by pulling, pushing, kicking, grasping, reaching, and moving their head, body, hands, and legs. Ensure your child is in a safe play environment. 

How Can Toddlers (1 to 2 Years) Exercise? 

Rolling, standing up, hopping, skipping, playing in water, climbing, riding, moving around, and more. 

How Can Pre-Schoolers (3 to 4 Years) Stay Physically Active? 

Children under 5 years of age should not be inactive for a long period. do not allow them to spend a long-time watching TV. Try to involve them in any kind of activities, playing games, and doing household chores. 

Exercise With Your Kids

You are the role model to your kid. Encourage your kid to develop good exercise habits. You need to exercise with them and make it a family activity. Take a family walk together. Limit screen time and be involved in real physical activities. You can even plant a tree in the garden and watch it grow over time. This way you can exercise without feeling like exercising

If you run out of possibilities at home, take advantage of local playgrounds and parks. The child who enjoys sports and exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. It also builds self-esteem, prevents obesity, and decreases the risk of serious illnesses later in life.