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Getting Kids Active — 10 Minutes At A Time!

Reprinted with permission from Kidnetic.com, a program of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation.

Do you have trouble getting your kids up and moving?

A “no sweat” way to motivate kids to be active is to make physical activity a natural part of everyday life. For good health, children need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week, but ideally, every day. Scientific research shows that short periods of physical activity – even as little as 10 minutes at a time – performed throughout the day provide health benefits similar to longer periods of physical activity.

This means kids can accumulate their 60 minutes in shorter, more achievable chunks of time. For example, they can do 30 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of bike riding and 20 minutes of active play such as jumping rope or playing tag.

All types of activities can count toward kids’ 60-minute total, including participating in sports, dance or martial arts classes, biking, running, swimming, walking, and even “active chores” such as raking leaves, vacuuming and dusting. In addition, for healthy muscles and bones, kids should participate in muscle strengthening exercises twice each week. These activities include push-ups, pull-ups, gymnastics or playing on a jungle gym or other playground equipment.

You play an important role in helping your child to be active by being active yourself, finding fun ways for the family to be active together and setting limits on screen time.

Take 10!™: Putting The 10-Minute Concept Into Practice

Believe it or not, a kid’s day can be surprisingly full. Accumulating activity in smaller chunks of time is a great way to sneak it in. TAKE 10!™ is an innovative school-based physical activity program from the International Life Sciences Institute Center for Health Promotion that does just that.

TAKE 10!™ is designed to help students in kindergarten through fifth grade — typically a younger group of kids than Kidnetic.com kids — achieve recommended amounts of daily physical activity. TAKE 10!™ provides teachers with classroom materials to incorporate 10-minute periods of fun and safe physical activity into a regular school day’s lesson plans and includes lessons in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts. Each TAKE 10!™ period helps children accumulate the 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended for good health.

Teachers can get information on TAKE 10!™ at a Web site designed especially for them: www.take10.net.

Last updated October 14, 2008




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