Fitness Programmes for Children

 

I. Body weight of Hong Kong children
II. Why should we manage our body weight?
III. How to define overweight/obesity?
IV. How to avoid being overweight?
V. Guidelines on the amount of physical activity for children
VI. Physical activity and energy expenditure
VII. To Lead an active and healthy lifestyles
VIII. Simple circuit training
IX. Fitness training course for children
X. Virtual class for simple circuit training
XI. Download pamphlet of body weight management of children

IV. How to avoid being overweight? 

A. Maintaining a controlled and balanced diet
Healthy Eating Food Pyramid for Children (6-10 years old)
Nutrition Labels The daily energy and nutrient requirement of a child varies with age, gender, body height, body weight, activity level and health conditions.  When choosing suitable food for their children, parents should pay attention to nutrition labels in order to have a better understanding of the ingredients and nutritional values of food in addition to following the Healthy Eating Food Pyramid.

 Table of energy contents of common food

B. Doing exercise
  Apart from maintaining a healthy diet, doing exercise is also important for managing body weight.  Doing exercise helps burn excess calories, avoid the accumulation of body fat, increase metabolism, strengthen muscles and bones, and improve cardiopulmonary function.

Parents should take heed of the following points:
1. Children should be encouraged to choose the exercise they like.

 
    • It is easier for them to develop the habit of doing exercise if they find the activities enjoyable.
    • The exercise should be suitable for their age and physical development.
    • Children should be encouraged to explore their interest in doing exercise and enjoy the fun.
    • Children can engage in more than one type of exercise each time.
    • Children should be encouraged to build exercise into everyday life, such as taking the stairs instead of escalators more often.
    • It is preferable to do whole-body exercises, such as running, cycling and swimming
2. Parents should choose an appropriate time to do exercise with their children.

3. It is preferable to do exercise at favourite places such as a nearby park, sports ground or sports centre.

4. Parents, other family members or friends can do exercise together with children.

5. Proceed progressively and gradually extend the duration of exercise.

6. Parents should express words of appreciation and encouragement if their children have shown progress after making an effort to do exercise (e.g. achieving weight loss or an increase in the amount of exercise).

7. Keep a record of the amount of exercise each time in order to monitor the progress.

 

C. Getting rid of bad habits
  The following are some practical suggestions about getting rid of unhealthy diets and bad habits, and developing a habit of doing exercise:
 
1. Parents should set a good example and do some exercises together with their children.
 
2. It is important to help children manage their emotions.  At times of emotional upset, doing exercise instead of indulging in binge eating will help relieve stress.  Also, children should be encouraged to talk with their parents and teachers.

3. A balanced diet should be maintained for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Avoid picky eating, skipping meals or eating too much.

4.  Children should be discouraged from developing an eating habit of high fat, salt and sugar.  A suitable amount of healthy snacks (e.g. fruit) will be fine if refreshments are needed. For more information about healthy snacks, please download the 'Snack Check' mobile application developed by the Department of Health, which has 200 healthier snacks for reference.

5. Eat slowly to allow time for the brain to register a feeling of fullness.  It also helps digestion.

6. Reduce screen time and do more physical activities.

7. 

Getting enough sleep (9 to 11 hours a day) will help improve physical fitness.
  Children can achieve effective weight management and live a healthier life full of energy if they can get rid of their bad habits and establish habits of healthy eating and doing exercise under the guidance of their parents.
 
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