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I am quite a sporty person, and naturally, I want my son to love sports and enjoy the health and happiness it brings.
Sport helps children grow and develop, including preventing obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes and strengthening bones and muscles. In addition, sports can improve concentration, sleep and confidence.
Many parents know that sports can help children grow and improve their immune system, but do you know how long your baby needs to do sports each day? And which sports are more suitable?
Kids & Roll tells you everything!
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Why Do You Want Your Child to Play Sports?
Because sport is an indispensable human activity, it strengthens your child’s body and improves their physical and mental health.
The right amount of sport, in the right form, will result in a strong body, improved immunity, the release of negative emotions and increased energy, resulting in a better quality of work and school life.
For children, sport also unleashes their instincts and builds their willpower, which will benefit them later in life.
How Many Sports Should a Kid Play?
Different types of sports are suitable for different ages. For example, sports for school-age children, playing on climbing frames in playgrounds or climbing trees are all good for strengthening muscles. Children usually do not need formal muscle strengthening routines.
As children grow older and become adolescents, they may begin to undergo systematic muscle-strengthening sports. Examples include sports such as weight lifting in physical education classes or on sports teams.
The amount of activity a child should do each day depends on age.
Ages 0 to 1
Light sport is the main focus (hold the child as little as possible and put him on his back more often).
Examples include daily head lifting, rolling over, sitting and standing, crawling, etc. As the months go by, the child learns more and more sports and the number of activities increases.
Although babies are still very young, parents should allow them to do sports and not hold them daily. This will enhance their body’s muscle strength and limb coordination, and the child’s development can be accelerated.
Ages 1 to 3
Moderate to the moderate sport.
What was the best sport to play as a child?
As the child’s body strength increases and his motor nerves mature, he can do moderate sport a few times a day, ensuring 120 minutes of sport in 24 hours.
However, the 120 minutes are cumulative throughout the day, not all at once. It is also important to observe the child’s adaptability gradually; some weaker children can have their standards lowered.
Suggested forms of sport: cycling, swimming, brisk walking, etc. Tools and toys can also help the child achieve more sport.
In addition, children of this age tend to be more active and often roll around on the floor and run around.
Ages 3 to 6
Medium-intensity sport is the main focus.
Preschoolers should get at least 180 minutes of sport cumulatively in a 24h day.
At least 120 minutes of outdoor activity should be undertaken daily, which can be switched to indoor activities during inclement weather.
Sedentary behaviour should be kept to a minimum, and children should be able to get up and move around 60 minutes a day.
Suggested forms of sport: rope skipping, basketball, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, etc.
Outdoor sports can also help to relax the eye muscles and relieve eye strain, thus preventing myopia.
However, despite the many benefits of sport, it is important to pay attention to the right amount of sport and the choice of sport style. Some sports are unsuitable for children too early, as they may increase the burden on the heart and affect the bones’ normal development.
Aged 6 and above
High intensity and high endurance sports
- Long-distance running
- When children are training for long-distance running, they must pay attention to their physical condition, and the amount of running should not be more than 10% of the previous week’s training.
- Gradual and orderly progress is the common principle of most senior coaches for children’s running.
- Because, unlike adults, the bones of developing children are still well developed and fragile, long-distance running is often prone to wear and tear on children’s bones and joints, which in turn affects their health.
- In addition, long-distance running is more demanding and tests children’s cardiopulmonary function. Many parents and children do not undergo professional training; the running posture and breathing rate are not scientific enough, and they are more vulnerable to injury.
Reminder: Children should wear comfortable sports shoes for the usual sprinting to protect their feet’ bone development, so they do not get sprained or fall accidentally.
- Hiking or rock climbing
- Rock climbing is a great way for children to sport their physical and mental health issues.
- Rock climbing improves concentration, and when there is solid rock underfoot, the child’s attention is particularly focused at this time, which can greatly help their future academic success.
- The different combinations of routes in rock climbing require appropriate movements to get through. Planning the route in your head before each climb based on where you see the pivot points will improve your youngster’s memory resilience.
About the Intensity of the Sport
Each child has a different athletic base, so start with easy interactive games and progress gradually, but do not engage in high-intensity strenuous activities at once.
To judge the intensity of the sport, observe the child’s breathing rate + the change in speech rate.
If your child is breathing rapidly and answering in short sentences, this means that the sport has reached a moderate intensity for his body; if your child is breathing rapidly and cannot respond to you, this means that it is already a high-intensity sport and parents should pay attention to controlling the rhythm and length and make timely adjustments.
Benefits of Sport
1. Advertises height growth and physical conditioning in youngsters
Sport increases blood flow throughout the body, which boosts the blood supply in the developing bone cells of the child and also reels in more nutrients, thus promoting accelerated bone growth as well as making the youngster grow taller.
Physical sport improves bone strengthening as well as enhances bone performance. The thickening of the dense bone mass makes the bone thicker and also increases bone development, which favorably impacts the growth of height.
Normal physical sport enhances the body’s metabolic rate, and muscles end up being thicker, more powerful, more developed and also much more powerful.
It will also improve the child’s ability to adapt to environmental changes and resistance to disease.
2. Sport advertises the advancement of the youngster's mind, and sport can make the child smarter
After sport, children’s brain neurons are extremely energetic. When the heartbeat is sped up during sport, blood circulation is accelerated, and also the blood supply to the mind is greatly boosted, which is conducive to the metabolism of mind nerve cells.
The excitability, versatility and also endurance of cortical afferent neuron in the brain are enhanced in people that routinely participate in a physical sport.
3. Sport improves children's concentration and learning efficiency
The medial part of the brain’s frontal lobe is the area in charge of attention. When a person engages in aerobic sport, the frontal lobe area is actively engorged with blood, and this is when attention is particularly focused.
In addition, the body secretes dopamine, a pleasurable ‘hormone’, when exercising, promoting concentration in children.
This improves the nervous system’s regulation, which positively affects students’ ability to learn and increases their productivity.
This is why the school arranges for sport between classes and then afterwards.
4. The right amount of sport can release children's energy
Children are always energetic and full of energy, and I am sure many parents have experienced exhaustion with their children.
If a child’s energy is not released properly, it will be pent up, resulting in impatience, irritability and temper.
This is not a child being “disobedient”; it is a typical problem of a child not exercising at home, and parents should let their children go outdoors to release this energy.
In short, sport makes children physically fit, more confident, quicker and smarter.
We need to take action and let our children see the benefits of sport and experience the joy of it too!