The key to a healthy life is physical activity from a young age. Young children need regular, vigorous, physical activity to develop and grow properly, as well as reduce the risk of disease. Physical activity helps develop your child’s movement skills, keeping the body strong and healthy! It also strengthens bones, muscles and the brain, establishing connections between them all.1,2

Physical activity also improves focus, school performance, sleep and energy levels.3

Most importantly, physical activity builds a healthy heart and helps your child keep a healthy body weight.3


Physical activity plays an important role in developing the brain and supporting essential mental functions. It also helps release growth factors, chemicals in the brain that affect the growth and survival of new brain cells as well as blood vessels in the area. 3

Physical activity also improves focus, school performance, sleep and energy levels.3

Exercise leads to improved motor skills (such as hand-eye coordination), better thinking and problem-solving, stronger attention skills and improved learning. The simple act of playing outside with friends, setting non-academic goals and seeing progress can help the brain refocus when it is time for school work.3


Children aged from 3 to 5 years should have a minimum of 60 minutes structured physical activity every day. At least 60 minutes of daily unstructured physical activity is also recommended – especially outdoors.1

From the age of 4, children have greater coordination and strength, allowing them an increased variety of sports and physical activities that they can choose from:4,5

  • Gymnastics: the entire body is exercised, developing a sense of rhythm and flexibility.
  • Martial arts: helps to discharge energy, reinforces the values of companionship and is excellent for coordination of movement.
  • Dance: improves balance and posture and helps develop coordination, whilst teaching discipline and an appreciation for music.
  • Swimming: it can be the most complete sport for children, in which they exercise almost all the muscles of the body.

The most important thing is to support your child, regardless of the activity he/she has chosen.


It is important that from an early age, children are encouraged to be on the move and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Too much time, these days, are spent in front of a screen (TVs, smartphones, tablets and other devices) looking at a variety of media. Too much screen time and not enough physical activity is adding to the problem of childhood obesity. As parents, it is important to encourage your children to be more active, the benefits of which will hold them in good stead as they get older.2,6

References: 1. Why Active Play Is So Important. Available at: Date Accessed: October 2019. 2. Caring for Kids. Physical activity for children and youth. Available at: Date Accessed: October 2019. 3. Physical activity: Benefits of exercise for health and wellbeing. Available at: Date Accessed: October 2019. 4. 6 Activities for children from 2 – 5 years old. Available at: (translated) Date Accessed: October 2019. 5. The best children’s sport by age. Available at: (translated) Date Accessed: October 2019. 6. Kids and Exercise. Available at: Date Accessed: October 2019.