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to ask how much exercise and what counts

(14 Posts)
waitingforsomething Fri 22-Jan-16 10:03:35

I saw a headline the other day that said children in the UK don't get enough exercise and started to think of my 3 year old. In this weather im just not sure she does. In the summer she loves the park and she hasn't used a buggy for a long time so walks but we live in a hilly area so I drive more than I would like. What counts as exercise or activity and how much is the right amount? Right now we are at a tumble time at a local leisure centre and she's pretty busy so I guess that counts but I'm confused! How do you make sure your children get enough?

Sighing Fri 22-Jan-16 10:06:45

Moderate = 30 mins of activity 5 days a week is it? It rings a bell anyway.
But it also depends if the rest of the time is sat (desk, sofa) or more movement based.

JustABigBearAlan Fri 22-Jan-16 10:11:09

Good question, I'm not sure what counts. I would have thought that a tumble time type activity would certainly count. Mine spend quite a bit of time running round the house. I suppose that doesn't really count.

It does seem harder in the winter. Mine spend hours running around outside in the summer. And of course whilst we can and do still go to the park in the winter, spending hours in the freezing cold and driving rain isn't quite so appealing!

waitingforsomething Fri 22-Jan-16 10:27:11

Really hard- even if it's not raining it's usually been raining and the slides are wet! I think they do a lot of dancing around at pre-school so it probably counts. Just starting to think because she's likes quiet games at home and will sit a lot rather than dash about unless it's putside

satsooma Fri 22-Jan-16 10:39:00

NHS guidelines for children under 5 say that children who can walk on their own should be physically active every day for at least three hours. This should be spread throughout the day, indoors or outside.

The three hours can include light activity such as standing up, moving around, rolling and playing.

More energetic activities, suitable for most children who can walk on their own include: active play (such as hide and seek and stuck in the mud); running around; jumping on a trampoline; riding a bike; dancing; swimming; climbing; skipping rope; gymnastics; using a climbing frame, riding a bike, playing in water, chasing games and ball games.

Energetic activity for children will make kids "huff and puff" and can include organised activities, such as dance and gymnastics. Any sort of active play will usually include bursts of energetic activity.

See: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-children.aspx

satsooma Fri 22-Jan-16 10:47:15

An interesting statistic: "Most UK pre-school children currently spend 120–150 minutes a day in physical activity, so achieving the guideline 180 minutes would mean adding another 30–60 minutes per day." www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Documents/children-under-5-walking.pdf

CadleCrap Fri 22-Jan-16 11:35:10

Why would running around the house not count as exercise? Does running In a street burn more calories?confused

I would take exercise in young kids as anything but sitting stationary. So walking, running, climbing on chairs etc but not watching tv, crafts etc. Look at the effort involved in a young child climbing on to a bed for example, then, once they get on to it, let them jump!

JustABigBearAlan Fri 22-Jan-16 11:53:36

Ha ha Cadle no of course not! I guess it was a silly thing to say. I suppose what I meant was prolonged exercise. So if you go for a run, bike ride, swim etc, then you're exercising for a period of time normally. A quick run across the living room takes seconds.

In adults where the guidelines are 30 mins a day, I've always taken that to mean 30 consecutive minutes - to get heart rate up etc. Perhaps it doesn't mean that.
If jumping on the furniture counts, mine are probably doing OK!

CadleCrap Fri 22-Jan-16 12:13:25

Just if I could get mine to NOT climb up the back of the sofa, I could reduce their excercise by at least 120 minutes every day <sigh>.

I reckon it is just movement. Why does raising your arm 10 times in 2 minutes burn more calories than raising your arm once every 30 mins over 5 hours. Yes, the former is anerobic exercise and needed to build muscle for an adult. But the focus on a young child is mobility not muscle mass and a good diet.

specialsubject Fri 22-Jan-16 13:03:26

any movement is exercise.

I would think that stopping a toddler moving is more the issue!

HermioneJeanGranger Fri 22-Jan-16 13:57:44

Movement is exercise. Good exercise is the type that gets you out of breath - for kids, that could be running around the garden, trampolining, a bike ride, or just dancing around the living room.

Could you put some music videos for kids on for half an hour or so a day and get her moving to that? Even things like walking to the shops count as exercise - just try and keep her moving, or get her to help with housework? She could help you carry laundry or tidy up - so long as she's moving around, she'll be fine smile

It is much easier when you can tire them out in the park, though!

waitingforsomething Fri 22-Jan-16 14:06:49

Thanks. Well today she's done an hour or so at tumble time, has been playing pretty hard at home with her toy cars and playmobil; in fact when I watch her she really is busy moving around while she plays - the only sedentary today was an hour of TV after lunch.
When the baby wakes up I have a few errands to run so I think we will turn it into a little walk if it's not too rainy (hopeful). Probably worrying over nothing she hardly sits on her bum all day watching TV

rookiemere Fri 22-Jan-16 14:19:18

I find that DS(9) is getting exercise in most of the time. He will not sit still in front of the tv and drives me slightly crazy when I try to talk to him as he sort of jiggles on one foot instead of standing still, but I have to try to remember that actually that's much better for his overall health than doing nothing.

CeciliaMiddleton Fri 22-Jan-16 14:38:52

I've been worrying about the same thing - DS bounces round the house whilst DD would be happy with her dolls forever. I've started organising 'days out' at the weekend that we can invite their friends to. Sometimes horribly expensive sometimes I can find something just outside where they can kick a ball. I try to shake it up so they don't get bored. There are some good lists of things if you live in London like me. Time out does one www.timeout.com/london/events/outdoor-activities-for-kids and there's this lovely website with some off the beaten track ideas: www.culturewhisper.com/whisper/view/id/4998

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