Why should children exercise?

According to the American Heart Association, increased physical activity has been associated with increased life expectancy and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Children who exercise regularly improve their cardiovascular health, strengthen their heart muscles and maintain better endurance in sports. How often should children exercise?

To reap benefits, children ages 2 and older should participate in at least 30 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity activities every day. They also should perform at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical activities -such as horseplay, dancing, biking and swimming-a minimum of three to four days a week. This large-muscle movement at a rapid rate helps achieve and maintain a good level of heart and lung fitness.