The government advises that children and young people should undertake a minimum of 60 minutes moderate to vigorous* physical activity every day and that at least twice a week it should include activities to improve bone health, muscle strength and flexibility.
* To help contribute to this, the family friendly move to improve activities include fundamental movement skills such as running, jumping, skipping, leaping, hopping, galloping, sidestepping, rolling, crawling, balancing, etc.
* To ensure children are getting the fullest exercise benefit from each activity, please see the suggestions under the Make it more energetic heading of each activity.
*What is vigorous activity?
We can tell when an activity is vigorous as we start to notice some immediate changes in our bodies. You may want to talk about this with your children as these changes are signs to show they are performing the type of exercise that will help their bodies develop healthily.
Types of changes to expect:
* Children may notice their breathing is faster, their heart is beating faster, they are feeling hotter, they are sweating. This happens because the more energy a particular activity requires, the faster our muscles use up their existing energy.
* It means we then need to breath faster to get more air into our lungs and our heart needs to pump faster to get the oxygen delivered quickly to the muscles (the oxygen contains new energy).
* With all this going on in our bodies it makes us hotter and so our bodies may produce sweat to cool us down.
* As long as these changes only occur as a result of exercising and we recover quickly, take rest breaks in between and drink plenty of water, then this type of exercise performed daily should be good to help our bodies develop.
NB: Please consider if an individual feels dizzy or light headed, or has difficulty breathing or develops a headache or feels sick or over-tired and doesn’t recover fairly quickly after stopping the exercise. It may be that the activity is too vigorous for an individual and you may wish to consult a medical professional if you have any concerns or the symptoms persist.