Fitness and Exercise for Kids

fitness Exercise for Kids

Obesity among kids is a growing and worrying problem. In an era of smart phones, hand-held consoles and Facebook we should be determined to encourage the young to take up more sporting activities which will pay rich dividends not only to them during their lives, but also to society as a whole.

The benefits to kids from sport are bountiful:

  • Helps encourage the healthy development of bone, muscle and connective tissue
  • Improve fitness levels and general health
  • Kids will see sport as an essential part of their lifestyle and be more likely to continue to participate as they get older
  • Helps kids maintain a healthy weight
  • Sport is a great way for kids to learn team work, sportsmanship and make new friends

Exercise tips for kids

As we all know, if children don’t enjoy an activity they are not going to do it. It is therefore vital to pick an activity which each child enjoys and also make each activity specifically focused to what kids will find fun and enjoyable.

When explaining an activity to a child or group of children it is important to be clear and precise. Demonstrate the activity in slow motion to the kids.

Having an adult participate in the activity is very helpful so that kids who are not sure of the instructions have someone to watch and follow. It is also very powerful to have a role model or figure of authority leading by example by also being active.

Some ideas of sessions

If a child has a particular interest, such as tennis, football or athletics, it would be highly advised to follow the child’s interest by looking at a sports/athletics club.

When it comes to general exercise/sporting sessions, here are some ideas:

  • Mini relays – have the kids split into groups and have each leg of the relay between twenty and thirty meters. The competitive nature of relays usually leads to a high level of effort!
  • Skipping with a rope – a common playground activity which is very good for developing eye-hand-coordination
  • Swimming – swimming has vast benefits to health and fitness and is ideal for kids. It improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and expends a lot of calories
  • 5-aside football – this is especially useful if you have a group filled with football enthusiasts! Be aware of the possibility of unequal ability which could lead to some kids feeling alienated if they are on or against a team who are far better at football than them
  • Fun circuits – setting up a circuit can be a good idea if you have a large group to deal with. The kids are split into groups and each group will spend a set time at each station before moving onto the next one. Each station can be focused on a particular fitness ability, such as throwing bean bags into a hoop for hand-eye-coordination, walking across and abeam for balance, and wall jumps (the kids squat down and then jump up to try to touch as high as possible up the wall) for lower body strength and power.

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