Kids' Fitness Needs by Age

Whether you're designing a kids' fitness program or trying to decide what child fitness activity is best for your family, it's important to understand that kids' fitness should be structured around their age group. In the following sections, kids' fitness is discussed per the child's age range so that child fitness at any age is optimized accordingly.

Ages 1 to 3: Developing motor skills is important for infants and toddlers not just for physical growth and health but also because it contributes to intellectual development. Check with your pediatrician for age-appropriate exercises that you and your child can do together at this age. As they learn to walk, focus on any activities that will have them moving around.

Ages 4 to 6: Children in this age group will enjoy games and activities such as tag, kickball, and other things they can play with family and friends. Those activities will promote large and small muscle development and coordination.

Ages 7 to 12: As kids get older, they begin to enjoy and benefit from organized sports and other school and community activities. These activities will continue to promote muscle development and coordination, while children begin to learn how to follow rules within a structured routine.

Teens: Teenagers need plenty of exercise and other types of physical activity; many are prone to sitting around the house watching TV and playing video games. Get your teen involved in school sports, or if there is nothing at school that interests them, check with your local community to see what leagues are available (football, baseball, soccer, etc.).

Always remember to check with your child's doctor before having them begin any type of extracurricular sports activities or other physical exercise programs.

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