Image by Ildi’s Paintings

My daily run is sacred to me – a habit I thankfully kept since my high school and college track days.  So fierce is my addiction that I am ashamedly reckless in making sure I get my run in.  I’ve run in blizzards and thunderstorms, at nights on the streets of DC when I lived there, and alone in foreign countries (though I had a good scare in Portugal once when a white van slowed down and started opening the door – presumably to abduct me).

Needless to say, I want to make sure my kids are fit.  But how much exercise should they be getting?

I didn’t know that the National Association for Sport and Physical Education has published Guidelines (summarized below) for infants, pre-schoolers and toddlers.

Age Minimum Daily Activity Comments
Infant No specific requirements Physical activity should encourage motor development
Toddler 1½ hours 30 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)
Preschooler 2 hours 60 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)
School age 1 hour or more Break up into bouts of 15 minutes or more

It’s unclear what qualifies as “planned physical activity” and “free play” – I would think that since young kids by their nature can’t sit still, almost all time not spent eating and sleeping is “play time.”

Of course it’s easy to be active when the weather is nice, but if it’s not, you’re forced to be more creative.  What about the Masala Bhangra Workout DVD for Kids?  I’m not usually a video exercise person, but I may just have to check this out.


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