WebMD Town Hall: Daily Activity for Kids

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Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD
Dr. Hansa, how much exercise do kids need every day?

Hansa Bhargava, MD
Well, the recommendations are 60 minutes a day, but it doesn't have to be all at once. It can be in 15-minute spurts, or it can be incorporated, like Jim was saying, into your daily lifestyle. Park far away from the grocery store entrance or from the mall, or you know, take a walk instead of taking the school bus. I know communities who are doing walking school buses or walking carpools. What a great idea. You get to be with your kids, you get to walk, you get the exercise in, and you do it together as a family. So you can incorporate it in. And as Mrs. Obama was saying, take small steps. Don't think you have to get that 60 minutes in tomorrow. Just do 15 minutes three times a week to start with, and the next week just edge up that amount, and you will find it much easier than you think. And lastly, I just have to say this. I was reading a statistic the other day. Our kids are spending 7.5 hours a day on media. I don't even understand where they're getting that time. I mean, eight hours of school and seven and a half hours of media? So just ask yourself and your family how many hours a day am I spending on TV, Internet, texting, all of those things, and maybe we can cut away some of that time. Because we're all busy, I know it, I'm a working mom, too. I know there's a ton of working parents out there, and working grandmas, and military families who are single-parent families for, you know, temporarily. We need to find out where we can carve that time out and make it a priority, as Mrs. Obama said.