Kids don’t have to lift weights or do crazy HIIT workouts to stay fit, lucky them! All they have to do is keep moving for at least an hour every day. Lack of adequate physical activity paired with a poor diet is one of the primary causes of childhood obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
That’s why it’s important to encourage kids to stay active as much as possible from a very young age.
Here are 10 kid-friendly activities to set your child on the path of holistic health.
It’s easy to learn, practically free of cost, and has tons of health benefits. Running is one of the most effective endurance training there is. Children who run a few times a week develop strong bones and muscles and have a lower risk of obesity and Type-2 Diabetes.
To keep running fun and interesting, play sports that include a lot of running like soccer, baseball or basketball.
Children tend to mirror the actions of their parents. If you jog or run every day, encourage your child to join in. Even better, organize a family marathon every weekend or month. Most kids will be thrilled by the idea of it!
Like running, jumping is an incredibly effective cardio workout and perfectly safe for children. Get a trampoline and watch your kids enjoy themselves. The best part about jumping is that it doesn’t really feel like an exercise.
Jumping is a fun way to boost flexibility, improve heart health, and strengthen the core. Not just that, the act of jumping in the backyard or on a trampoline causes the release of a feel-good chemical called endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are the one-way ticket to uplifting mood, staying focused, energized, and positive.
Riding a Vehicle
Riding toys for kids such as tricycles, scooters, bicycles, and ATVs brings a sense of independence. Maneuvering a vehicle without any assistance requires focus, hand-eye coordination, strength, and skill.
Age-appropriate ride-on toys will accomplish a number of things. One, it’s going to help your kids freely cruise around the ‘hood or house. Two, it will be the most enjoyable form of full-body workout for kids.
Lastly, riding any vehicle independently is great for boosting self-confidence at a young age (or any age, for that matter).
Jumping ropes is one of the best motor-skill building activities for kids. Children can safely start swinging and skipping over the rope from the age of 5.
Hopping and jumping with two feet successfully for an extended period demands unflinching focus. Kids who jump ropes are likely to be more focused on studies and other activities than kids who don’t.
Jumping rope is also a brilliant cardio, flexibility, and strength workout. Kids who jump ropes are blessed with excellent bone density, muscle strength, agility, and balance.
According to AAP, children can start taking swimming lessons at the age of 1 to minimize the risk of drowning. Swimming is one of the most versatile physical activities for kids of any age.
It’s a full-body workout that helps to build incredibly strong cardiovascular health, stamina, muscle strength, and flexibility. Children who swim can effortlessly maintain healthy body weight and fat percentage which consequently rules out the risk of a plethora of serious ailments.
This super quirky, super fun form of exercise targets all the major muscle groups in the body. Maintaining balance while bear crawling or mimicking any other animal walk is challenging for the core. This makes it a great core-strengthening activity for kids.
It’s also something kids can get really creative with. Want to up the challenge? Put some obstacles in the way which they will have to bear crawl their way through. Make it a part of your weekend game night!
Playing with Balls
Throwing, tossing, bouncing, and catching the ball improves timing, hand-eye coordination, and motor skills in kids of all ages.
There are endless ways to play with a ball, both indoors and outdoors. For indoor play, I suggest buying foam or sponge balls because no one really likes broken furniture.
Playing with balls serves as a gateway to bonding with parents, siblings, and peers as well which is important for the early development of social skills. Transitioning from solo play to collaborative play is a great way to teach kids the importance of teamwork and following rules.
Yoga is a fantastic activity for the relaxation and emotional well-being of children. Having to put and hold oneself in a variety of yoga poses promotes better posture and insane flexibility which helps kids excel at high-intensity physical activities.
Yoga is essentially a way to unify the body and mind. It makes kids who do yoga more mindful of their bodies.
Teaches self-defense? Check. Helps to express negative emotions in a safe, healthy way? Check? Builds immense strength, stamina, speed, and agility? Check. Feels cool? You bet!
I don’t have any studies to corroborate my statement but I can tell you that most kids would happily grab the opportunity to become the next Karate Kid.
Don’t worry about karate making your kid violent. If anything, martial arts training focuses on exercising self-control. It might sound contradictory but aggressive sports can actually help to ease aggression in people.
Any Team Sport
Team sports like soccer, basketball lacrosse, hockey have both tremendous physical and emotional benefits. It teaches kids the importance of being a team player and practicing self-discipline. Not to mention playing physically exerting sports is one of the best ways to achieve epic fitness.
There are tons of other physical activities kids can perform to improve their overall fitness. However, no amount of physical activity is enough if what they put their body is full of refined sugar, highs amounts of salt, and unhealthy fats. Make sure they don’t overexert themselves and follow a healthy, balanced diet.
Here’s an infographic on the benefits of Yoga for kids!
This infographic was created by Kids Car Donations, non profit car donations
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