Exercise for kids is not something strange… Here is a nitty-gritty article about it…
When we hear the word “Exercise”, we naturally just assume gym appointments, or weight lifting and spending hours away from the TV or from work, or any other form of stress-related activity, but it is not always so.
In a more general sense, exercises are forms of practice or exertion, designed to train and develop a particular condition, and in this case, the condition of the body.
The term “Exercise” is used to describe a series of physical activities that help body growth and has a positively influence our health.
As our bodies grow, they require more care in form ofall sorts of nutrients, as well as physical and mental exercises.
As kids, recently introduced to the harsh conditions of this planet, exercises go a long way in boosting their survival instincts and skills.
Preventing kids from exercising will only make them more susceptible to harm in form of injuries caused by lack of agility and in more frequent cases, diseases.
If adults need exercises to keep their fully grown body in shape, then how much more would you think kids need it? They sure do themselves a lot of good by playing around, an act which most parents and adults would certainly give no approval to.
So, instead of having kids play around in a disorderly fashion, as a means to exercise as their instincts dictate, they could be channeled to have a more organized and supervised kind of fun, while exercising.
Benefits of Kid’s Exercise.
The major health benefits of kid’s exercise are briefly explained below;
#1. Exercises increase muscle strength:
Now, that might sound a little athletic or extreme if you aren’t well acquainted with the meaning of the term “muscles”.
To shed more light on that, I’ll have you know that the heart, which is basically the power house of the whole body, and is responsible for pumping blood to various parts of the body, is indeed a muscle.
To increase the strength of your heart, and keep it in a better condition, you don’t necessarily need drugs or any other chemical solution. It needs regular exercise.
In case you’re wondering how you can exercise a body organ, so deep in our body, aerobic exercises can do that.
Other muscles in the body also require different forms of exercises which would be beneficial to kids.
An increase in muscle strength also increases flexibility and that alone guarantees a longer span.
#2. Exercises increase bone strength:
As the internal organs of the body are being exercises, the health of the body bones too are influenced. This happens either by an increase in the health conditions of the bone strengthening organs as well as the strength of the bones directly by physical activity.
Other benefits of exercises in Kids are explained below;
The kids who exercise regularly are more liable to a leaner and fit body, as exercises help control body fat.
Also, they become less likely to become overweight. The rather large increase in the number of obese children have shown that more than half of them will inevitably grow up to become obese adults.
If you think the only problem with obesity is size, think again!
Obesity creates an avenue for more health problems including sleep apnea, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. Beside this, it ruins the self-esteem of the child, as he or she suffers pain and shame.
If you too find that your child is gaining weight, the best way to help him get into a healthy lifestyle is to start with some physical activity and then convince him to have healthy diet daily.
Basic Element of Exercise for kids
The three core elements of any exercise are explained below:
Most exercises, especially the ones for kids enhance flexibility, hence allowing their muscles and joints to bend and move easily.
Kids Love flexibility. They do not want any personal or inbuilt barriers to any activity of their choice. The more flexible they get, the more they have more access to their full range of motion.
This access can help them build their confidence as well as easy transition into adulthood without having to experience and endure any form of body pains.
During exercises, kids are put through really tough conditions where they are stressed and their heart beats faster. This experience does a lot of god than harm to them
Psychologically, they tend to have more tolerance for stress and are unlikely to break under pressure. It also helps when their heart gets a lot of action.
Their heart beats faster and they breathe harder, hence, their heart, as well as other muscles and organs in their body gain more strength and tolerance for stress.
For Kids, strength improvement has little to do with lifting weights, even though it is beneficial to them in some way.
However, it is advisable that it should be done under adult supervision and in a quite safe and controlled environment. This can be achieved during play when they climb, and do a hand stand or wrestle.
Major Forms of exercise for kids
#1. Unstructured play:
Most kids, even females love to do somersaults. This is considered as one other basic activities every kid did at one point in their childhood.
They often catch this habit as well as other forms of unstructured play from other kids or adults in their neighborhood, or from videos.
At their age, they are not skilled enough for most sports but they are filled with energy and then they channel this flow through any activity that picks their fancy.
Use this to their advantage by encouraging them to run around indoors or outdoors under your supervision. Play their favorite songs and let them dance along, using this to exercise every part of their body with consideration to their breathing and heart beat rate.
Take them to playgrounds at their leisure and allow them to climb ropes and ladders, with you behind them for safety. They could pick a hobby from any of these activities, ensuring regular exercises aligned with their interests.
#2. Family Exercises:
Apart from strengthening family bond, this can also be quite rewarding in other areas. Taking a hike at the park during weekends or a short walk in the afternoon can be quite fun.
For more convenience, doing this on a weekly or monthly basis can also have its effect, though minimal, but visible.
Walking up and down hills can improve their balance and strength in their legs. A miniature golf location with batting cages or parks for football exercises can also be beneficial for kids, indirectly training them to be athletes.
#3. Group exercises:
Kids can be enrolled in a class for specific exercises and individual sports ranging from gymnastics to dances, cheerleading, martial arts or kick boxing.
Study has shown that involvement in these classes encourage them to enjoy exercising and socializing while focusing on individual achievements and goals. Those who have interest in goal-achievement and enjoy reaching for levels of achievements will thrive in these types of exercises.
This is ideal for kids in elementary and middle schools. Here, they can learn how to follow rules, specific instructions and sequential movements. This is a major prerequisite to the more complex rules of team sports.
#4. Exercising with equipment:
Kids with coordination skills can be introduced to exercises involving equipment. Keep the exercise fun by finding the exercises which might pose a challenge to a child rather than be too hard.
For example, throwing a Frisbee looks fun when it’s done right, but it can be frustrating to children who are not adept at moving their wrist in the right direction.
Practice with the kids, but know when they have had enough and move on to another exercise or activity.
Exercises for kids which use the whole body include bike riding, skate boarding, roller blading, cross-country skiing and ice skating. Activities like sledding can provide exercise, when you do not carry the child back up the hill yourself.
Dancing and moving around with hula hoops is a fun exercise for children. Setting up a basketball hoop, soccer net, badminton net or volleyball net, at heights appropriate for children will also provide the child with fun ways to exercise.
CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING KIDS EXERCISE EQUIPMENT ON AMAZON:Skate Board.
Basic Types of Exercise for Kids
No doubt, there are different types of exercises, but most of them are made up of a series of core exercise. The core of all of the above listed methods are explained below;
Taking a brisk walk in the morning and evening helps a lot to reduce weight not only for children, but for adults only.
If this isn’t convenient, Instead of using a lift, you can encourage your child to use stairs. Climbing stairs can give a good workout to hips, legs and butt and it is very helpful for strengthening the heart
Most kids don’t like walking or playing out door, as a means of motivating them to move and be more active, you can get a fitness tracker for them. Read more about the benefits of fitness trackers for kids.
Kids naturally love this. Making kids run during a game excites them, keeps the blood warm and the heart and other muscles in top shape.
This is a more regulated kind of running, and has just as much effect as running on the heart and other muscles, keeping them in good shape.
Kids love jogging and jumping in one place. You can put on some music so that they think it to be fun and excitement.
Skipping is a good method to execute this particular activity. It can be done on a spot and indoors, if preferable.
This also exerts the same effect as jogging or running, but with a more advanced mechanical procurement.
If you are living in a colony, there must be many children of the same age group as of your child. Make cycling a group activity and let them have some treasure hunting or simple cycling activity altogether.
#5. Swimming and other water related exercises:
Swimming helps the body to stretch and does so with the body temperature under regulation.
Today almost all apartments and colonies have a swimming pool and children love swimming especially in summer days. Make this a part of life and this is the best exercise to keep in shape.
Also, canoeing or water boarding under adults supervision also do the body muscles good.
This combines so many of the above listed core form of exercises together and is even more interesting and fun.
If your child has interest in dancing, let him join a dancing club or class and enjoy the physical activity.
You can also help your child make Yoga a part of his or her life. This being not only a physical exercise, but even inspirational too.
These exercises can be chosen for kids according to their ages, interests and availability of facilities in your environment. Patience is a key virtue in making any physical activity a habit for kids.