At what age should kids start exercising?

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Published: August 5, 2021

When it comes to our children’s health, physical activity is always recommended. During early childhood, children engage in exercising freely, usually without our encouragement. Rolling over, jumping, and crawling comes naturally to kids if they are in the right environment. Physical activity has a big impact on children’s health long-term. With their physical development in the first place, a common question arises. At what age should kids start exercising? In order to answer this question, we should first understand their needs, as well as physical and motor development. If you are not sure whether your child should start exercising, you can always ask a professional personal trainer for kids. They will make an exercise plan that is specifically designed for your child. In the meanwhile, take a look at our guide to the best timeline for kids to start exercising.

Benefits of exercising for kids

The most obvious reason kids should engage in sports is having fun. For parents, it’s the healthy lifestyle and proper physical development of their kids. Since it’s their natural need to move and stay active, children engage in physical activity even before their first birthday. Different limb movement, rolling over and squatting comes naturally to them. Even with these basic motor exercises, parents still keep wondering – at what age should kids start exercising? Before answering this question, let’s see the benefits of exercising for kids:

baby crossing over a fence
From an early age, children will naturally engage in motor development activities.
  • Healthy bone and muscle development.
  • Improvement of posture
  • Developing social skills
  • Reducing energy boosts
  • Improving concentration and focus
  • Preventing cardiovascular and muscular diseases in the future

Early childhood – at what age should kids start exercising?

It is never too early to encourage kids to start exercising. From an early age, children can benefit from staying active. However, parents are often questioning the best sports and activities for their kids. It’s not always easy to determine the best activity for a certain age. Kids who are not active enough can develop different physical growth problems. There are different sports for kids with motor issues that are adjusted to children of any age. On the other hand, over-exercising can also be harmful to children. Depending on their age, there are different types of sports you could consider for your child. Here are some examples.

Toddlers (age 0-3)

At this age, children will most likely be physically active spontaneously. In case of some delayed motor skills development, it’s recommended to encourage a child to stretch, bend, squat, and do similar exercises. These routines should be perfectly enough for healthy physical development.

Preschool age (age 3-5)

At this age, the best physical activities for kids can all be done in the park. If you are talking about daily walks and spending time outside with your child, they will naturally show the need to move and play. Spontaneous games in the park are more than enough for kids to enjoy at this age.

When it comes to group sports, at this age you can encourage your child to play soccer, basketball, or any other ball-related sport. By this time, your child will most likely develop an interest in one of these sports. Swimming and enjoying activities in the pool are also recommended for kids at this age.

children playing soccer
School-aged kids show interest in soccer, basketball, or different individual sports.

Physical activities for kids in the school-age

After developing basic motor skills, children usually start showing interest in a specific sports activity. Take a look at what professionals recommend for children from the age of 6 to 16.

Age 6-8

Since this is the time children are learning most of their social and motor skills, they have a large number of activities to choose from. As a form of cardio workout, pitching, throwing, and catching a ball becomes more interesting to them. Also, riding a bike with two wheels is becoming another fun activity to engage in. Considering the age, you should talk to your child about different sports he or she likes. This might be a good time to try out ballet, martial arts, swimming lessons, or group sports.

Age 9-11

At this time, motor skills are developing rapidly with children. You should expect them to perfect hand-eye coordination, and show interest and skills for a specific sport. Different competitive sports are usually a good self-esteem booster, especially if your child is socializing well. On the other hand, some children show interest in individual sports like martial arts, gymnastics, etc.

Ages 12 to 16

During early and mature puberty, boys and girls start developing physically, and their need for sports might grow. If you have been asking yourself – at what age should kids start exercising? – it’s still not late to choose the right sport. If a child has weight-related issues, it’s better to contact a professional like a personal coach Dubai locals will recommend. Depending on your child’s physical and psychological needs, there is a variety of sports to choose from.

kids in the gym
For kids with any physical development issues, it’s better to ask professionals for advice.

Best time for kids to start training

If your child is showing interest in sports, this is always good news. However, the best time for kids to start exercising is not always easy to estimate. The best thing a parent can do is listen to the child’s needs and keep track of their physical development. In case of any irregularities, your kid’s family doctor or a personal trainer can always give advice. So, at what age should kids start exercising? The answer to this question is individual, and the best way to know is to keep track of the child’s needs. If you are in doubt as a parent, you can always ask a professional to make the best fitness plan for your child’s needs.


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