Physical Activity Tips for Children (5-11 years)


Help kids enjoy their way to a healthier lifestyle! One hour of physical activity every day: at home, at school, at play. Every step counts!

Physical activity plays an important role in the health, well-being and quality of life of all Canadians, and it is particularly important for children and youth. Habits formed early can last a lifetime.

How much physical activity do children need? Children aged 5-11 should  accumulate at least One hour of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. But more is even better!

To make the most of their physical activity, try to include: Vigorous-intensity activities at least three days per week. Activities that strengthen muscle and bone at least three days per week.

Tips to help kids get active

Encourage walking to school and getting active as a family

Get them to skateboard, bike or run instead of getting a ride

Ask them to walk the dog with you

Have them rake the leaves, shovel snow or carry the groceries

Encourage them to dance to their favourite music

Replace computer and TV time with something active

Build active opportunities into daily classroom routines and encourage students to join a school sport team

Take kids to the playground or to the park to play

Reduce screen time

Be more active in the after-school time period. Every step counts!

Health Benefits

Opportunities for socializing

Improve fitness

Increased concentration

Better academic scores

Stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles

Healthy growth and development

Improved self-esteem

Better posture and balance

Lower stress

More physical activity provides health benefits. Encourage children to move more as part of a healthy lifestyle.

What is moderate aerobic activity?

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. You should be able to talk, but not sing.

Examples of moderate-intensity physical activity include walking quickly, skating, bike riding and skateboarding.

What is vigorous aerobic activity?

With vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, your heart rate will increase even more and you will not be able to say more than a few words without catching a breath.

Examples of vigorous activity include running, basketball, soccer and cross-country skiing.

What are strengthening activities?

Muscle-strengthening activities build up your muscles. With bone-strengthening activities, muscles push and pull against bones helping make them stronger.

For children, climbing and swinging on playground equipment is an example of a muscle strengthening activity.

Examples of bone-strengthening activities include running, walking, and jumping rope.