On the French-Canadian TV show Aubaine et Cie, Blaise Dubois discusses physical activity for children. Regular physical activity contributes to:
- Cardiovascular and metabolic health
- Muscle health
- Bone health
- Developing motor skills
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Good self-esteem
- Reduced stress
- Enhanced school performance; and
- Maintaining an active lifestyle in adolescence and adulthood
POSITION STATEMENT ON ACTIVE OUTDOOR PLAY
Access to active play in nature and outdoors—with its risks—is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings—at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature.
Motor Skills Development
Developing and mastering basic motor skills is the best way to enable children to engage in healthy physical activity across the lifespan. Basic motor skills are running, jumping, throwing, catching, swimming, climbing, kicking, dodging, dribbling, hitting, pivoting, rolling and balancing.
It's Not Just About Running!
At a young age, varying activities and learning through play helps develop motor skills. Early specialization and intense, scheduled practice for a specific activity can be counterproductive for motor development. To promote a fun and enjoyable environment, try to ensure there is variety in your child's physical activities!
How much sport is enough?
Organizations such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the World Health Organization all recommend that young people engage in moderate- to high-intensity exercise for at least 60 minutes per day. It is also worth mentioning that even a small amount of physical exercise can be beneficial to young people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommendations for kids:
A little science
Here are the highlights of a literature review conducted by the Scientific Committee of Kino-Québec. Sorry, this article is only in French.