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Exercise Helps Reduce Cancer Risk

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity and being overweight have a significant impact on a child's risk to develop diabetes, cancer, asthma and heart disease as an adult. 

Exercise is a great way for families to have fun together and for children to grow into healthy adults. 

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children ages 6 to 17 need to participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. This includes:

  • Aerobic activity: Most of your child's physical activity should be aerobic activity. At least three days a week, the aerobic activity should be intense enough to get their heart rate up and bolster cardiovascular health.
  • Muscle strengthening: Strengthening exercises, such as sit ups and push ups, should be included in your child's physical activity at least three days a week.
  • Bone strengthening: High impact activities, such as running and jumping rope, encourage bone health and should be included in your child's exercise at least three days a week.

Exercise doesn't have to mean hitting the gym. Encourage your children to play outside. Common kid favorites, such as bicycle riding, playing tag, swimming, playing kickball or tennis, are great ways for your children to engage in physical activity. These are also ways for you as a family to engage in healthy living together.

Exercise Tips and Resources for Families


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center