The struggle to stay fit is real. Especially when it comes to keeping your kids active during the pandemic quarantine. Closed parks and playgrounds, along with “Stay at Home” orders, leave little opportunity for kids to exercise and stay active. Homeschool recess time can easily send your kids into surfing social media sites or binge-watching Netflix for entertainment rather than exercise activities.

Key Guidelines for Exercise by Age Group

Age Exercise/Day Suggested activities
3-5 years 3 hours/day of light, moderate or vigorous intensities combined. Active play: Running around, throwing games, bicycle or tricycle riding, swimming, hopping, skipping, tumbling, jumping or dancing, monkey bars or climbing on jungle gyms.
6-17 years 60 mins/day of moderate to vigorous intensities combined. Aerobic activities: Running, jumping rope, swimming, dancing, bicycling.

Muscle strengthening: Climbing trees, playing tug of war, pushups, playing on jungle gyms or climbing walls, lifting age appropriate weights.

Bone strengthening: Running, jumping rope, playing basketball or tennis and hopscotch. Similar to muscle strengthening but must include impact with the ground or opposing forces.

For more information visit:

Children and adolescents, ages 6 through 17 years, need about 30-60 minutes of exercise, at least five days a week (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018). Lack of exercise can impact weight management, increase risk for illness and injury as well as impact cognition, social and mental health. Getting enough exercise helps children and adolescents stay healthy mentally and physically.

Need additional ideas to engage kids of all ages in activities? Watch this video.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2nd edition.

Image of post author
Article by:

Jon Holland, PT, OCS

Jon graduated from the University of Louisville Physical Therapy program and has 20 years experience in the field. He is board certified in orthopedic physical therapy. Jon works with a variety of orthopedic and sports injuries in the clinic and with University of Louisville athletics. He has special interest and training in foot/ankle biomechanics, orthotic evaluation/fabrication, running injuries, and functional movement screening. Jon is certified in dry needling.

All posts by Jon Holland, PT, OCS
Calendar icon that indicates scheduling an appointment
Schedule an