With all the energy children spend running around and moving non-stop, you might wonder if it’s still necessary to introduce your kids into a fitness regimen. Experts say that in this era of computers and gadgets, the average child is no longer meeting the required amount of physical activity. Therefore including exercise for kids in your homeschool day is essential.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that children should have at least 1 hour of physical activity every day.
Your child’s daily physical activity should involve three types – muscle strengthening, aerobic activity, and bone strengthening. It’s not as simple as bringing your children to the park to play on the swings. There needs to be a structured exercise regimen and some variations in their activities to meet the prescribed health standards.
When introducing a fitness regimen to your child, bear in mind the following:
Keep it fun and infuse play
Kids have a short attention span. Keep the activity fun by asking siblings or their friends to join you. Consider starting a fun get fit exercise program with fellow homeschool families! Talk lively when teaching the exercises and get some laughs by being randomly wacky. To keep things interesting, infuse play in the exercise. You can do a “stop and go” game or dance along to a music they like. You can also try doing the activity in different outdoor venues.
Keep it short and simple
Keeping each exercise step short, preferably for 10 repetitions, can help keep your kids on their toes. If there’s one particular step they enjoy, you can spend a little more time doing it. Also important is to keep the steps simple. Any complicated moves your child cannot deliver can prompt feelings of frustration and loss of interest in the activity.
Diversity is the key
Having a structured 30-minute exercise routine can be a great option, especially during the winter or rainy season when outdoor workouts can be a challenge. However, apart from this, your child should also have time for active play. This can help burn more calories without much effort. For instance, riding a bike for an hour can help them burn 118-172 calories. It is also a great and fun way for your child to strengthen bones, muscles and improve aerobic functions.
Guide to Exercise for Kids
Showing the kids how it’s done and getting the whole family (or homeschool group) initially involved in the exercise routine can help instill in their minds the importance of exercise. Below is a list of simple steps to help you get your kids started in their fitness regimen.
March in place
Count 1 to 10 while marching and you’re done with one set!
From standing position, take a big step to the left, then retreat the left foot back to standing position. Repeat on the right side.
Extend the right leg in front without bending the knees and touch the toes. Do this alternately with the left leg.
From standing position, bend down keeping the knees straight, touch the ground and crawl to a push-up position, then crawl back up. Here’s a 10-second YouTube video by Unique Bootcamp Workouts so you can see how it’s done
Elbow to knees
Place both hands behind the head, lift up the right knee and touch it with the left elbow. Do the same.
Jog in place
Jog in place or jog around. The important thing is that you sweat it out.
Keep both feet together, hop to the left then hop to the right. Do this alternately for several counts.
Have small talks with your kids about the benefits of regular exercise, and demonstrate this principle in your own life. Once they understand the workings of the body and its capabilities, they will better appreciate the importance of fitness as they grow.
Author Bio: Paul Vandyken is a personal trainer, nutrition coach. His personal website is RigorFitness.com. His blog has articles, videos, and pictures with tips, tricks about fitness, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle. If you are on the journey to your healthy and happy lifestyle, visiting his blog may worth a look or even help you enhance your process.