Studies show that both kids and teens can benefit from both cardio and strength training exercise. Your child does not have to be athletic or enjoy sports to be fit. No matter what age your child is, there are plenty of exercises that he or she can do, and plenty that you can do together! Why not make exercise fun? Get the whole family moving and see the results.
Which Exercises Are Good for Children?
We all know that jumping jacks are a great way to get moving, but most children find them fun to do. What else do they love but jumping around? Get your kids moving and do some jumping jacks with them. Start out with 10, and then add on. Do not worry too much about their form in the beginning. Jumping jacks get the heart rate up and calories burning.
Ski jumps are an exercise that require you to move from side to side. This strengthens the leg muscles and of course, gets the blood pumping. Have your kids move with you, jumping from side to side. Start with lower jumps, and then, as your kids get into it, have them jump higher into the air, and then, wider and wider. These are fun and will really get your (and your kids') heart rate up. Try a set of 20 or so, and see how that goes.
Of course, as adults, we may hate to do a plank, but we also know how good it is for our entire body. The plank works the core, the legs and the arms. Your kids probably won't be great at it from the beginning, but you probably weren't either, so start them out slowly.
Have your children try a plank on their knees, and as they get better at it, they can straighten their legs and hold the plank longer. Try for a few seconds and add on.
Kids love to run, and sprints are excellent for our health. Try a simple game of tag, or just ask your kids to sprint from one side of the yard, or park, to the other with you. Try to make it a game, getting them to pick up the pace and go faster. Do just a few at first, and then add on. This is a great exercise for the heart and for the entire body.
Squats and Crunches and Push-ups
From planks to push-ups, try that same knee position that you had them in for planks, and have your kids try a few push-ups. Start with a few and add on.
Simple crunches and squats are great for bone density and for building muscle, too. Just like with push-ups, start with a few and add on. In this case, make sure that your children's form is good. Work on form before you add repetitions.
Yoga stretches are good for everyone, and the sooner we start doing yoga, the better. Have your kids start with some simple poses, like downward facing dog or even child's pose. Do these at the end of your workout, or just do yoga one day a week as your work out. You may be surprised how much your kids might love practicing yoga!
Who has experience working out with kids?
As a parent, you want your child to be healthy and happy. Exercising can help your kid achieve that. If you want to get your kids in shape, or help them get ready for a certain sport, contact me, Ralph Roberts. I am a personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club and a former professional baseball player. I have years of experience working with kids on and off the field. Contact me today to learn more about helping your children stay fit and be sure to ask about my group training just for kids.