The formula for being fit includes elements like stamina, agility, and speed. These are all important qualities that will truly add to your child’s health. If you think your child doesn’t have the stamina to keep up with their friends or gets tired running far or as fast as they’d like, then one has to delve into those gaps where your child might be missing out and help them bridge those areas.
Stamina, speed and agility mustn’t be only developed on land but in water as well. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) was effective at improving endurance in children. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest. This can be done as part of a swim team or a track team, cycling or rowing. HIIT is one of the best ways to improve all three markers of stamina, agility and speed, amongst others.
When your child does their workouts consistently they get better at their chosen sport. They adapt to hard surface workouts or water-based workouts, cycling or rowing etc and all these skills will give them an advantage by not only helping them get extra credit for university entrances later in life but also making them so much more comfortable in their own skin.
So, whether you’re looking to improve your child’s stamina or just make them more active, or plan way ahead of the curve, be sure to check out some of the suggestions in this article.
1. Optimizing workouts on land
Stamina, agility, and speed are important for kids of all ages. However, running is especially important for young children because it helps to improve their posture and builds their endurance. While running can be fun and enjoyable for kids of all ages, there are specific exercises that are best suited to different age groups.
Running: Running is a great exercise for young children because it helps to improve their posture and build their endurance. Young children also tend to be very fast runners which makes this activity an excellent way to increase muscle strength and speed. For older children and adults, running can help to improve balance and coordination as well as build muscle mass.
Running helps to increase your overall endurance, which can help you in activities such as biking or hiking. Additionally, running has been shown to improve agility and speed. Running has been shown to improve coordination and balance, which are essential skills for sports such as soccer or basketball. In addition, running has also been shown to help build muscle mass and strengthen bones – all important elements for a healthy body throughout adolescence and adulthood.
Kids love getting active – so making running a part of their daily routine is a great way to encourage them to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Running is easy enough for kids that they can start out slowly and gradually increase their distance over time. Plus, there are many fun routes available in your community that will allow kids to explore their city while getting active at the same time!
Plyometrics: In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that plyometric training improved agility in children. Plyometrics involve exercises that involve explosive movements, such as jumping jacks, squat jumps, and box jumps, which can help improve power and speed.
Cycling: Cycling is an excellent exercise for both adults and young children because it strengthens the muscles in the legs while helping to improve balance and coordination. It’s also relatively easy on the joints so younger children can participate without too much risk of injury. Additionally, cycling has been shown to help reduce stress levels which can be beneficial overall health-wise.
Skipping: Skipping is an excellent exercise for younger children because it builds muscle strength quickly while helping them develop better reflexes and coordination. Skipping also has a low impact so there’s minimal chance of injury if done incorrectly.
Endurance Training: Endurance training involves completing longer workouts at moderate or high intensity over time with no rest between sets. This type of training not only increases stamina but also improves muscle strength, endurance, agility, speed, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Endurance training should be completed gradually over time rather than all at once in order or you could put your body through too much stress.
Interval Training: Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity work with lower-intensity work or rest. This type of training has been shown to increase overall endurance by increasing both heart rate and oxygen uptake. Interval training can be performed using running, biking, rowing machines etc., but should always be supervised by an adult since intense workouts at high intensity could lead to injuries.
Sprinting: Sprinting is a type of interval training that involves short bursts (usually less than 10 seconds) of intense effort followed by brief recovery periods. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that sprint training improved speed in children. Sprint training involves short bursts of high-intensity running. Sprinting has been shown to increase power output, speed, agility and strength while reducing fatigue and recovery time.
Cross-Training: It involves mixing up your routine every day by doing different types of workouts outside your regular routine. This prevents your body from becoming too used to one.
2. Training on the water – Swimming & Rowing
Swimming: Swimming is a great exercise for older children because it is gentle on the joints and helps to improve balance. It is also low-impact which makes it a safe exercise for older kids who might not be able to handle more rigorous workouts yet. There are many different strokes that kids can learn when swimming – breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly stroke, freestyle swimmer etc. For beginners, it’s important to start with a basic stroke and work your way up to more advanced techniques. If you’re looking for a fun activity that the whole family can participate in, swimming is a great choice. Not only will your kids have fun while they’re exercising – you’ll wind up getting some aerobic exercise too!
Diving and water polo: Working out in water can also help older kids develop stronger swim muscles which can lead to improved swimming abilities. Activities such as diving or water polo really challenge cardiovascular health and improve stamina, flexibility and agility etc.
Rowing: Rowing can be an intense sport which focuses on speed and muscular strength. It can challenge one physically and requires immense determination and consistency to excel. It is a team sport and instils sportsmanship, grit and perseverance.
3. Playing a sport- Soccer, hockey, football etc.
Playing soccer, hockey, football, etc is a great way for children of all ages to improve their stamina, agility, and speed. At the heart of all these team sports is discipline and working together as one unit. Not to mention, they’re lots of fun! Find what works for you and stick to one thing for a period of at least one term for your child to get used to the finer nuances of the sport.
Importance of annual health checks – VO2 max, blood pressure, cardiac output
Stamina, agility, and speed are all important components of fitness. However, many kids don’t get the exercise they need to build these skills. That’s where you can begin introducing your children to the above exercises but also have a system where you keep an annual medical check to make sure your children’s parameters are within range.
VO2 max is a measure of how much oxygen you can consume per minute during exercise, and lactic acid levels(these rise when we exert ourselves intensely, which can indicate muscle fatigue). Check for muscle fatigue and active recovery that helps us restore our muscles after they have been fatigued. Keep a regular check on how your child’s body is responding.
Importance of warm-ups and cool-downs
It’s important to make sure that children are properly warmed up before participating in any exercise and to gradually increase the intensity of the workouts to avoid injury. It’s also a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program.
There’s no one way to start a fitness routine but running and physical training routines can be the easiest way to start. Do check with your medical provider before you begin a routine with your child. Once given the go-ahead start off their routines with encouragement, enthusiasm and a few incentives once in a while to keep them going.
The views expressed are that of the expert alone.
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