Does your school provide physical education? Depending on where you live, your answer could be "Yes," "No," or "Yes, but it's not required." To stay healthy and fight weight gain, all Americans should aim for at least 60 minutes of sweat-inducing exercise every day. But the reality is that fewer than one third of kids and teens ages 6 to 17 get even 20 minutes of that kind of vigorous exercise. Although most states require students to participate in some kind physical education, many schools within those states don't make the grade. And only five states require all school-aged kids -- kindergarten through 12th grade -- to participate in physical education.
The American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommend that teens (middle and high school students) get 225 minutes (almost four hours) of physical education every week, so parents should consider supplementing physical activities at home. Remember those 60 minutes can happen throughout the day, so sprinkle your kids' schedules with activities that will get them moving.