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GUIDELINES FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Remember that physical activity adapted according to your ability and severity of your condition is always safe.

It is presumed that you have already visited the general guidelines page of the physical activity section, and comprehended the contents therein thoroughly. If not, please do so, and come back to this page. You can arrive at the general guidelines page by

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Regular physical activity in children and adolescents promotes health and fitness. Compared to those who are inactive, physically active youth have

  • Higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Stronger muscles
  • Lower body fat
  • Promotes a healthy body weight and body composition
  • Stronger bones, and
  • Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Have a better chance of healthy adulthood.

Generally speaking, youth do not usually develop chronic diseases. However, risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis can begin to develop early in life. Physical activity makes their occurrence less likely. This section provides the guidelines for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17. Parents or adults who care for youth should be aware that:


  • As children become adolescents, they typically reduce their physical activity
  • The greatest gains in bone mass occur during the years just before and after puberty
  • Peak bone mass is obtained by the end of adolescence
  • Youth can achieve substantial health benefits with physical activity


For these reasons, adults need to encourage physical activity in children. The guidelines are as under.


  • Children and adolescents need 1 hour or more of physical activity daily.
  • Activities of moderate and vigorous intensity need to be adapted.
  • Activities should be an ideal combination of aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening.
  • Aerobic activity should be done at least 3 days a week
  • Strengthening activity should be done at least 3 days a week
  • Young people needed to be encouraged to participate in activities that are enjoyable and offer variety
  • Intensity, frequency and duration should be gradually increased
  • Young people should walk or bicycle to school instead of riding in a car or bu

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