In the last 30 years, kids have become more sedentary with various types of screen time being the main culprit. With childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes on the rise, it is more important than ever for kids to exercise every day. There are three main aspects of exercise: endurance, strength training and flexibility.
Endurance Exercises for Kids
This is the same as cardio or aerobic exercise. Playing tag, skating, bike riding, playing sports, relay races and jumping rope are all great activities to get the heart pumping.
Strength Training Exercises for Kids
Working on muscle strength for kids doesn’t have to mean lifting weights. Push-ups, abdominal crunches and pull-ups are all great ways to work on muscle and bone strength. Some playground-friendly exercises are playing on the monkey bars, climbing, doing handstands and wrestling. Jumping rope is one of those great cardio exercises that work just about every major muscle group at the same time.
Flexibility Exercises for Kids
Stretching exercises allow the muscles and joints to bend and move more easily through their full range of motion. Reaching for objects, practicing the splits, doing cartwheels, playing with the hula hoop and bending over to tie your shoes are all examples of flexibility exercises that kids can work on every day.
Think Outside the Box
If your children are not interested in organized sports, get a little creative. Would they be interested in a martial arts or a dance class? How about adding a dog to your family? Studies have shown that families with dogs have a better chance of staying fit. Taking the dog for a walk or playing in the yard are great ways for kids and families to exercise.