Children and Youth (5-17 years)

Children and youth need at least 60 minutes of physical activity everyday to meet the Canadian Physical Activity guidelines!  Help your child meet these guidelines by providing them with opportunities to spend time playing outdoors.  Choose a variety of activities that makes your child sweat a little and breathe harder (moderate intensity) to activities that make them sweat and be out of breath (vigorous intensity). 

You are your child's greatest role model. Spend time playing games with them and teach them games that you loved to play, such as tag or hide and seek.  Running and chasing games help to increase the intensity of your child's physical activity.  Children and youth should try different sport activities to help develop different skills.  Explore the different sport activities that there are for children and youth with your child to find ones that they would like to learn and would enjoy.

Their muscles and bones are still growing and developing.  Activities that help to strengthen and build their bones and muscles are also important.  The guidelines recommend muscle and bone strengthening activities 3 days a week. When children are younger, they strengthen their muscles and bones by doing activities such as jump rope and playing on outdoor equipment.  But as they grow and become a youth, they will need to include strength training exercises 3 days a week, such as weight training, into their fitness routine.

To learn about the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, go to