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Physical activity is important for everyone in
the family. The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics
summarizing the FITT method and includes general fitness tips and an activity
FITT (frequency, intensity, time, and type) is
one way to remember the general guidelines for what should be included in a
fitness plan. Remember, it's important to keep in mind that each family
member's fitness goals will be different based on age, sex, current
fitness level, and available resources. Talk with your doctor if you have any
Frequency—Do some type of
physical activity every day.
Intensity—Choose an activity
that is at least moderate in intensity, and also try to add a few more vigorous
activities over the week. Vigorous activity is activity that makes you breathe
hard and sweat. (Reaching a certain heart rate is not necessary.)
Time (duration)—Plan on a
total time of at least 60 minutes of activity each day. This can be done all at
once or added together over several shorter 10- to 15-minute blocks of activity.
Breaking it up into smaller blocks of time is a great way to start a new program
or fit activity into a busy schedule.
Type—The type of activity
can include a variety of team sports, individual sports, recreational
activities, family activities, active hobbies, and walking or bicycling for fun
and transportation. Several times every week do weight- bearing activities that
promote muscle strength, flexibility, and bone health. The most important thing
is to choose something fun!
Make time to be active.
School-aged youth should participate every day in 60 minutes or more of
moderate to vigorous physical activity that is right for their age,
enjoyable, and involves a variety of activities.
Limit sedentary activities.
These are activities where you're sitting down a lot, like
watching TV, using the computer, or playing video games. Spend no more
than 2 hours per day in front of a screen.
Keep an activity log. The
use of activity logs can help children and teens keep track of their
exercise programs and physical activity.
Focus on the positive.
Praising participation over winning and encouraging positive behaviors
are important, especially if a child is less active and interested in
Be a role model. Parents
are powerful role models and can help shape a child's perception
Children and teens can be motivated to exercise
more when they keep an activity log. Logs can also be used by parents and health
care professionals to make recommendations for changes or to offer incentives to
encourage their children to be physically active.
The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
If you think that you are having a medical emergency,
call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!
And when in doubt, call your doctor NOW
or go to the closest emergency department.
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