Children and exercise

Alternative names
Exercise and children


Lack of physical activity is contributing to a dangerous increase in obesity in children. Children need to have plenty of physical activity, but a formal exercise plan is not usually the best approach.

Children should be given many opportunities to play, run, bike, and participate in sports, preferably on a daily basis. Encourage your child to build strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity (for example, through running).

Children generally shouldn’t be expected to exercise in the routine, formal way adults do (i.e., walking three miles every day or lifting weights).

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2012
by Simon D. Mitin, M.D.

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