The 3 Categories of Exercise Every Kid Should Do

Registered Dietician

| 2 min read

A Healthier Michigan’s kid video contest — Make the Play for Healthy Habits — is well under way (entrants can submit a video through March 25). So in the spirit of that I thought it would be fun to share the three must-do exercises for kids for better health. Fitness for children, adults and families is important for a healthier and happier lifestyle.


It may sound like a lot, but children are supposed to get at least one hour of exercise every single day. It’s important to keep in mind consistency and variety when exercising. Exercise for kids should be fun and age-appropriate. There are 3 types of activity that kids should partake in:
  1. Aerobic activity — This includes brisk walking, biking, swimming or running. These types of exercise should make up most of the 60 minutes at a moderate to vigorous intensity. Aerobic activity should occur at least three times per week. Moderate intensity, from a scale of 0-10, would be a 5 or 6 (slightly short of breath and with a quickened heart rate), and vigorous intensity would be a 7 or 8.
  1. Muscle strengthening — This includes things like pushups, sit-ups and anything that involves resistance training. Gymnastics and even tug of war would also fall into this category. This should also occur about three times per week as part of the 60 minutes of activity per day.
  1. Bone strengthening — High-impact aerobic types of exercise help strengthen children’s bones. Such exercises would include jumping rope, running, jumping, hopscotch or many sports. Again this should also be incorporated three times per week for part of the 60 minutes.
All of these activities are things that children can do simply by playing outside or even indoors depending on the season.

A Family Affair

Think about ways to play and exercise as a family too. Here are some ideas for things to incorporate with your kids:
  • Bike rides, rollerblading, walks or runs as a family
  • Throwing a ball around
  • Playing tag
  • Play sports games with your kids
Check out this video below about our kid video contest and note the exercises Matthew Stafford, the quarterback of the Detroit Lions, is doing with kids:
Remember the winner of the A Healthier Michigan Kid’s Contest will win a school assembly with Matt Stafford and have a chance to become a video blogger on this site too.
What ideas do you have on how to make Michigan healthier?
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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