The AEP recommends one hour of exercise a day for children

Walking, cycling, skating ... there is a wide range of possibilities when choosing a sport to do. Physical activity is closely related to good health, so being active and doing physical activity periodically is something basic when it comes to leading a good lifestyle. In fact, the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, AEP, recommends making at least 60 minutes a day of exercise for children between 5 and 17 years old.

Recommendations of the ASP on sport in childhood

Pediatricians emphasize the importance of physical activity in children and adolescents, and their benefits in their lifestyle. Therefore, he recommends spending at least 60 minutes a day doing some activity such as riding a bicycle or walking. That is, the recommendation is to perform one hour of daily aerobic exercise among which skating or jogging may also be included. The AEP points out these sports activities as moderate, and distinguishes them from intense physical exercise.

The AEP considers intensive physical activity some sports practices such as basketball, tennis or soccer. The recommendation of the AEP in this case for children and adolescents is to practice them for three days a week.

Finally, pediatricians point to another type of activities related to strengthening and improving bone mass, as well as muscle mass. In short, the AEP recommends reducing sedentary habits, such as avoiding short trips by car and choose to use the legs to cover these distances. At the same time he also advises encouraging outdoor activities and limiting the time spent in front of the screens, since it is always better to play football on the turf than on the console, at least for health.

Benefits of sport in children and adolescents

The AEP emphasizes that exercising has several positive effects on children who practice it. Among all these benefits, pediatricians highlight these as the most important:

1. Improve fitness: Strengthening the heart, muscle strength and also helps maintain a recommended weight.

2. Improve mental health: Self-esteem increases when you are capable of these challenges and reduces stress.

3. Encourages socialization: either by participating in sports teams or by meeting other children in the park or outdoor places where the exercise is performed.

4. Increase concentration: Be attentive to the game or the sports rules, help improve mental agility. This is related to a good academic performance.

5. It decreases the development of risk factors: the likelihood of suffering some chronic diseases in adulthood is reduced, such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.

Stimuli for sport in young people

Physical activity can be encouraged in young people through gifts that induce them to exercise. A good incentive can be to give our children a ball for the little ones and for the older ones a regulation ball or even a bike. Another way to support sport is to make this moment something enjoyable, such as accompanying the exits with tournaments that entertain the whole family while they stay in shape.

On the other hand, parents should motivate little athletic children and contribute to the exercise by putting all the facilities. Go to the field, go for a walk and take a walk, play hide and seek. Generate habits that avoid falling into a sedentary lifestyle, a good option is to devote the weekend to excursions to free environments, instead of staying at home with the video game console or just watching television.

Damián Montero

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