Joshua Johnson exercises at Scottish Rite for Children

Nov 13, 2018 / Sports Medicine

Healthy Habits Start Young

This week, the American Heart Association released new exercise guidelines, which was their first update to the physical activity recommendations in nearly a decade. The new guidelines suggest starting regular physical activity at a younger age and emphasizes the importance of mixing aerobic activities with strengthening activities.
Our sports medicine physician, Jane S. Chung, M.D., joined FOX 4’s Good Day to discuss the new exercise guidelines released by the American Heart Association. Chung explained that younger children don’t necessarily need organized sports for exercise, but they do need to be active throughout the day. 
“Starting exercise early so that kids will have good, healthy habits to carry with them through life is so important to ensuring that they can be physically active throughout their lives,” Chung said.
For children ages six through 17, the guidelines recommend at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity throughout the day. For children younger than six, a certain amount of exercise is not specified.
“Physical activity is a learned behavior,” Chung said. “Properly trained coaches and Physical Education teachers demonstrate skills and proper form, then kids are able to establish a solid foundation of movement and skills for lifelong healthy habits.”
For adolescents and adults, there are well-studied benefits that come from exercise. Daily activity can help prevent medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, anxiety and obesity, and can lead to a longer, more enjoyable life. Exercise can also improve sleep quality.
“We know from research that the benefits from exercise are substantial, even for kids,” Chung said. “Exercise is medicine. You don’t need or want to take other medicine or supplements to be healthy.”
Watch Dr. Chung’s full interview on FOX 4’s website.
Learn more about the conditions we treat in our Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine.

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