Being active and eating healthy food play a big part in getting healthy and staying healthy.
Everyone – not just kids – should be active every day, in as many ways as possible. Not being active can cause an energy imbalance – that’s when you take in more energy than you actually use. It can have a big effect on your health and how you feel.
||How much activity?
|Birth to 1
For healthy development in infants, physical activity – particularly supervised floor-based play in safe environments – should be encouraged from birth.
|1 to 5
||At least three hours a day, spread throughout the day.
|5 to 12
At least 60 minutes a day of moderate and vigorous activities. It’s even better to be active for up to a three hours every day.
Strengthening activities, like climbing or jumping, at least three days of the week.
|13 to 17
At least 60 minutes a day of moderate and vigorous activities. For even more health benefits, try to be active for several hours a day.
On at least three days per week, include activities that strengthen muscle and bone.
It sounds like a lot but you don’t have to do it in one go – it all adds up over the day. It’s also fun to do a few different activities.
Moderate activities make your heart beat faster and your breathing become quicker.
Vigorous activity makes you ‘huff and puff’.
|| Vigorous Activities
| Organised sports
|| Running/chasing friends
|| Swimming laps
|| Star jumps
|Playing on park equipment
Try to be active in lots of different ways and challenge yourself to try something new. Remember that it can take time to learn a new skill or a new sport, so don't expect to be good at something right away.
Why be active?
- To help your body grow properly, giving you strong bones, muscles, lungs and heart.
- To have good flexibility, balance and coordination, so you can move well.
- To meet up with your friends and make new ones.
- To learn how to run, throw, jump, catch and kick, which are part of lots of sports.
- To improve your fitness.
- To help you stay healthy and not get sick.
- To feel happy and full of energy.
- To help you keep at a healthy weight.
- To help you feel relaxed and confident.
- To help you sleep better.
- To improve your posture.
- To learn new skills and challenge yourself.
- To have fun!
There are lots of organised sports that you can play – football, netball, rugby league and basketball are very popular. But there are plenty of other sports to choose from. Why not try something different like indoor cricket, lacrosse, marching, ten pin bowling or table tennis?
For info on sports in your area, click here for the Gateway to Sport website (new window).
You need plenty of fluids when you’re playing sport or being active, especially if it’s hot and humid. Make sure you have a drink before you start, as well as plenty of water while you’re playing.
Slip! Slop! Slap! Seek! Slide! Always wear sunscreen, sun glasses, clothing and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Play in the shade when you can.
And make sure you wear the right protective equipment – such as a bike helmet, knee or shin pads – to stay safe and avoid injuries.
What if I don’t like sport?
You don’t have to do an organised sport to be active. There are fun activities to suit everyone, no matter who you are or what you like to do.
Download Kids Get Active Each Day fact sheet (PDF 731KB)