Dr. Waters: The benefits of staying active for children

A Better You

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — We all know exercise and moving is important for health! But it’s also very important to start early in life!

Dr. Laura Waters, a pediatrician at Mercy, joins us to talk about some of the benefits of being active for children and how parents can help them get started, and even join in!

Definition: Moving enough to be a little short of breath, feel warm and sweat.

Dr. Waters recommendations:

  • Children under six need three hours of activity per day with one hour or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day.
  • Children six and over need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Benefits:
    – build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
    – healthy BMI
    – reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure
    – improve sleep by helping kids fall asleep more quickly and sleep better
    – boosts self-esteem, school performance, attention and behavior
    – reduces tension, anxiety and depression
    – team sports help build teamwork and friendship

How to get started:
– emphasize fun- let your child do what they enjoy
– choose a developmentally appropriate activity: Soccer, bike riding, swimming are great for lots of ages
– make plans- make sure children have time and place to exercise
– provide active toys like balls, jump ropes, etc
– be a role model!
– be active together as a family
– set limits on screen time to make more time for physical activities
– don’t overdo it!

Check out more info here:
11 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active

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