Children

Being physically active everyday is important for the healthy growth and development of children.
“Energetic” physical activity and active play which involves carrying, climbing, and motor skills should be encouraged to assist development and maintenance of strength and flexibility. Proper instruction and adult supervision should be ensured during activities when necessary to ensure safe participation. Children should take part in activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.

WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN MY CHILD DO?

Muscle strength is necessary for daily activities, build strong bones and help maintain a healthy weight.

  • Fun games such as tug of war, hide and seek, catching
  • Swinging on playground equipment bars
  • Gymnastics
  • Rope climbing
  • Sports games such as football, swimming and basketball

Bone-strengthening activities release impact on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength. Examples of bone-strengthening activities for children include:

  • Activities that require children to lift their body weight or work against a resistance
  • Jumping and climbing activities, combined with the use of playground equipment and toys
  • Games such as hopscotch
  • Skipping rope
  • Walking
  • Chasing games to replicate running
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Sports games such as football, swimming and basketball

Motor skills development is essential at young. It helps to complement complex skills task at the later stage of life. Examples of motor skills activities for children include:

  • Participation of loco motor movements such as hopping, galloping, jumping, leaping and crawling.
  • Participation of non-loco motor movements such as balancing, bending, turning and twisting.
  • Participation of manipulative movements such as bouncing, kicking, tossing, throwing and rolling.

Adults

Regular exercise includes aerobic, resistance and flexibility components.
Balance exercise is also a great functional exercise to decrease our risk of falling as we get older. A planned exercise program beyond activities of daily living is essential to improve and maintain physical fitness and health for most adults. To acquire substantial health benefits, most adults are recommended to engage in:

WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN I DO?

Continuous activity that uses large muscle group in the body and causes an increase in heart and breathing rates.

  • Obtain at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • At least 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
  • Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.

Exercises that cause muscles to contract to increase strength, mass and/or endurance.

  • Include exercises for every major muscle group (e.g. arms, chest, back, stomach, hips and legs) 2-3 days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment such as dumbbells, weight-stack machines, resistance bands and body weight.
  • For previously sedentary adults, begin regime with light intensity for best adherence and prevent injury.
  • Aim to perform 2-4 sets of each exercise to improve strength and power.
  • Target 8-12 repetitions per exercise to improve strength and power, and 15-20 repetitions to improve muscular endurance.
  • Recommended to keep a rest period of at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.

Exercises to maintain or improve range of motion in the joints

  • At least 2-3 days each week to improve range of motion.
  • Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of tightness or slight discomfort .
  • Repeat each stretch 2-4 times, accumulating 60 seconds per stretch.

Other Adults

Adaptations to exercise will greatly improve the functional capacity of older adults, leading to improvement in quality of life and independence.
Generally, older adults are likely to be associated with low functional capacity, muscle weakness and deconditioning.
Muscle strength is an important factor in maintaining functional abilities. Muscle weaknesses can advance to the stage at which an older adult is unable to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL), such as getting out of a chair, sweeping the floor, or taking out the trash. Strength for the lower musculature is particularly vital. It helps to prevent fall, thus lowering the risk of hip fracture which may lead to disabilities.