If you’ve been looking for fun activities for kids to help them stay fit, you don’t have to look any further. This blog post will share some super accessible kid-friendly ideas that will not only boost stamina but will get them moving.
Stamina and fitness should be an intrinsic part of the health plan for every individual, especially your kids. Growing years set the foundation for lifelong health and will definitely give them an edge as they grow older as well as channel their energies and keep them happy and fit.
1. Encouraging kid-friendly workouts- Co-creating routines that stick
A review published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that physical activity interventions, including structured exercise programs and lifestyle physical activity, were effective in improving cardiovascular fitness, body composition, and physical function in children.
If parents co-create fitness schedules as part of a child’s daily activity for about an hour in the first half of the day and another hour during the second half of the day, this would promote great structure, and leave the children asking for more. Ask them what they like and enjoy every step of the way. Pivot if they take a dislike to something and then come back to it again when they’re ready.
You need to introduce them to different types of stamina and fitness-building activities and preferably one by one till they feel confident to take charge themselves. Today research is showing that an individual’s conditioning, whether they like a certain type of activity or have a like or dislike, is often established before the age of 7. Never push or force your opinion on them, instead, encourage them to speak to you.
2. Consistency is key
One of the most important things that you can do for your kid’s stamina and fitness is to be consistent. If you make an effort once or twice a week, it will be much more effective than making sporadic efforts throughout the year. Remember, motivation peaks during periods of consistency! Finally, reward progress! Giving your child positive reinforcement when they are progressing towards their goals is key in helping them stay motivated. Getting everyone involved in this process – from parents to siblings – will help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal!
3. Understanding your child’s constitution
It is important to note that the specific type and intensity of exercise that is most effective for improving children’s stamina and fitness may vary depending on their age, genetics, physical abilities, and fitness level. It is generally recommended to involve children in a variety of physical activities and to consult with a healthcare professional or a personal trainer to determine the most appropriate exercise program for their needs.
Each of us has our own unique constitution. Make sure you’re tailoring your child’s routine and expectations based on their natural talents and strengths as well as their ability to adapt and take a step back— to enjoy the magic!
4. Team activities and games to improve heart health and strength
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that strength training was effective in improving muscular endurance, strength, and body composition in children.
Cardiovascular training is one of the most important things that you can teach your kids for their health and fitness. Not only does it help to improve their heart health, but it also helps to build their stamina and muscles. Sometimes this may seem like a lot for your kid and other times your child may take to an activity like fish to water. Make activities interesting so that it doesn’t feel like effort. Habit over will-power will help them condition their minds to be their best selves and understand their own bodies better.
Some examples of kid-friendly activities that engage both mental and physical faculties are games such as tag, ball games, hopscotch, football etc which are always played in a team with other kids, not to mention these activities enhance coordination, teamwork, and group dynamics and are tons of fun!
The same activities if started later in life take a long time for one to get accustomed to and one does have to put in the greater effort as they have now missed out on crucial motor building years. Nothing beats starting them off early in a balanced way.
5. Innovate with indoor activities
Studies have shown that aerobic exercise helps to regulate blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of obesity later on in life. And because being overweight or obese has been linked with a number of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, incorporating cardio into your child’s daily routine is definitely a good idea!
A study published in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance found that a combination of cardiovascular and strength training was effective in improving cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and body composition in children.
Oftentimes in today’s world, it isn’t always possible for us to send our kids ‘out in the open’ to play, especially if we’re living in cities with high pollution levels and COVID coming in waves, we can however create fun playlists that our children can dance to indoors and pull out fun innovative games. Do an aerobics routine or even some burpees or squats as they pull out your yoga or workout mat to use at home. Swimming, bicycling, and running are all great exercises that can help to improve your child’s stamina significantly and can be done at an institute or sports centre near your home.
If you’re comfortable using technology, movement-based games online such as fitness videos, Wii or even fun arcades which have dance and artificial reality-based adventure games, it could be a one-off experience that you could share with your kids or have them be a part of as a birthday experience. Technology will definitely be a part of their future and it’s okay to have them dabble in this once they’re at a healthy age of 8 and above.
Finally, when it comes to being active and healthy, some fun activities together with your kids that use a full-body approach are essential! Whether they’re jumping rope or hula hooping (we’re especially fond of hula hooping!), making time for active play is key in helping them stay physically fit throughout their lives. So take advantage of these kid-friendly cardio workouts – they’re sure to have a blast!
6. Types of stamina-building activities – HIIT and cardio
A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) was effective in improving endurance and cardiovascular fitness in children.
Swimming, cycling, using a treadmill or indoor cycle bicycling can be great stamina-building activities when done in short bursts of activity and when you’re timing yourself.
Depending on how you approach an activity it can be a cardio exercise and/ or a stamina-building one. Even swimming can be a high-impact activity when one is training competitively or participating in a completion or relay. The coach or trainer can hugely affect how your child participated in an activity as well as their level of fear when approaching a sport. Make sure that you find someone who can be firm but also sympathetic and a good listener and one who can sit with your child and create goals with them that they can achieve.
7. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is important for maintaining energy levels and supporting physical activity. Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The right kind of food will optimize energy and also nourish your child to increase longevity and enhance stamina.
8. Get enough sleep
Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining energy levels and supporting physical activity. Make sure your child gets enough sleep each night to support their physical development. They need a minimum of 8-10 hours of sleep.
9. Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is important for maintaining energy levels and supporting physical activity. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
10. Take breaks
Encourage your child to take breaks when they need them and to listen to their body. This will help prevent burnout and ensure that they are able to sustain their physical activity over time.
11. Seek professional help
If your child has a specific fitness goal or if you have concerns about their physical development, consider seeking the help of a healthcare professional or a personal trainer. They can provide guidance and support to help your child reach their fitness goals.
There’s no doubt that exercise is important for keeping our stamina and fitness up. However, most of us approach exercise in a way that isn’t very fun. We push ourselves to the point of exhaustion, and then we wonder why our workouts aren’t working. Instead of trying to force our bodies to do something they’re not ready for, we should switch things up a bit and adopt a more playful approach.
This doesn’t mean that we should stop working out altogether – in fact, being active is still essential. Once we’ve gotten the kids to participate, it’s time to set some realistic goals for themselves. Rather than trying to do too much at once, it’s important to break things down into manageable steps.
We all know how easy it is to skip days when things don’t go according to plan (or when we’re just too tired!), so it’s important to make exercise as easy as possible for ourselves by committing to doing it every day no matter what else is going on. When we have fun while exercising, it becomes much easier for us to stick with our routine – even when the going gets tough!
Remember, it’s important to get your kids moving and active from a young age. A healthy lifestyle starts with exercise and proper nutrition. So get out there and have some fun with your kids while getting fit yourself!
The views expressed are that of the expert alone.
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