Teens and Exercise


 

Children and adolescents should have 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily.

  • Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.
    • Aerobic activity is the kind that gets the heart and lungs pumping. Most of kids’ 60 minutes a day should be this type. Good ways to get it include walking to school, hiking, or skateboarding. At least 3 days a week, children should do vigorous aerobic activity, meaning it makes them breathe more heavily than normal. They can run, swim, or do fast-paced dancing.
  • Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
    • Muscle strengthening. Three days a week, kids should work their muscles. At any age, they can do activities that use their body weight as resistance — like gymnastics, push-ups, playing tug-of-war, or climbing rocks and trees. With the right coaching, older children and teens can work their muscles with resistance bands or weights.
  • Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
    • Weight-bearing exercise, like jumping, skipping, and running, at least 3 days a week will help them build strong bones.


Does all of this sound like a lot? Don’t worry — many types of exercises fall into more than one of the categories, so it shouldn’t be hard to fit them all into your child’s week.

It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.