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LittleStars Blog

Welcome to the LittleStars Blog. We use our blog to communicate to our players, members and parents about what's going on in the world of rugby, particularly kids rugby. Come back regularly to read our blog posts and get great advice, hints and tips...

How Much Physical Activity Should My Child Get?

Published by Anthony Dunne / Tuesday, March 10, 2015 / Published in LittleStars Blog

Being physically active every day is important for healthy growth development in toddlers, children and young people.

 According to NHS UK, the amount of physical activity needed is determined by a child or young person's age.

To maintain a basic level of health, children and young people age 5-18 should do:

-At least 60 minutes of physical activity every day which should range between moderate intensity activity (such as playground activities) and vigorous intensity activity (such as fast running). Three days per week these activities should include muscle strengthening activities (push ups) and bone strengthening activities (such as running).

Many vigorous intensity activities can help to meet a child's weekly muscle and bone strengthening requirements such as running, skipping, gymnastics, martial arts, rugby and football.

Children and young people should minimise the amount of time spent sitting watching tv, playing computer games and travelling by car when they could walk or cycle instead.

Examples of activities that require moderate effort include walking to school, playing in a playground, riding a scooter, skateboarding, rollerblading and cycling on flat ground. Moderate intensity activity means that you are working hard enough to raise your heart rate. 

'What counts as vigorous intensity activity?'

Vigorous intensity activity is associated with better general health, stronger bones and muscles and higher self-esteem. There is substantial evidence that vigorous intensity activity can bring greater health benefits over and above that of moderate intensity activity.

Examples of activities requiring vigorous effort for most children include: playing chase, dancing, swimming, running, gymnastics, football, rugby, martial arts.

'What counts as muscle strengthening activity?'

Muscle strength is necessary for daily activities to build and maintain strong bones, to regulate blood sugar levels and to help maintain a healthy weight. For children and young people, muscle strengthening activities are those that require them to lift their own body weight or work against a resistance such as a climbing rope.

Examples of muscle strengthening activities include:

Tug of war games, swinging on playground equipment, gymnastics, rope or tree climbing, sit-ups, press-ups, football, rugby, tennis.

'What counts as bone-strengthening activities?'

Examples of bone strengthening activities for children include:

Activities that require children to lift their own body weight or to work against a resistance, jumping and climbing activities combined with the use of playground equipment/toys, games such as hopscotch, skipping with a rope, walking, running, gymnastics, dance, football, and martial arts.

The LittleStars Rugby coaching and development programme adheres to the recommended guidelines for children's  physical activity levels throughout the United Kingdom. The coaching plan which all LittleStars coaches are trained by incorporates all current recommended welsh government initiatives for children in sport including Foundation Phase learning and development guidelines including numeracy and literacy.

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