Paradise Valley gym programs match federal guidelines for active children

Professionals at a Paradise Valley gym encourage parents of young children to heed the advice of guidelines recently issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

(Photo/The Little Gym)

“For parents of preschoolers and young children, the new guidelines may appear to be re-stating the obvious: Young children need to be active,” Gwendolyn Whitfill of The Little Gym of Paradise Valley stated in a release.

“But the research behind the guidelines underscores the lifelong value of making vigorous physical activity a priority in your child’s schedule.”

The key guidelines issued by HHS stated that preschool-aged children (ages 3-5) should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development, and children and adolescents (ages 6-17) should do an hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.

This level of regular physical activity, according to the report, can help children maintain a healthy weight; build healthy bones, muscles, and joints; and make them more likely to become active and healthy adults.

In addition to the health benefits, the new report stated that 60 minutes of physical activity daily has a strong impact on academic performance and social skills.

“Most parents wouldn’t argue with the importance of keeping their kids active,” Ms. Whitfill stated. “The challenge is coming up with safe, engaging activities that fit today’s busy schedules and winter’s shorter days.”

The key is making activity fun, she stated. “If children are having fun as they tumble, run and play, then healthy habits will follow.”

The Little Gym of Paradise Valley “offers age-appropriate exercises and group activities in a safe environment where children can develop an appreciation for an active lifestyle,” according to a release.

For more information about The Little Gym of Paradise Valley, 4848 East Cactus Road, contact Ms. Whitfill at 602-996-1380.

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