Do you know that more than 30% of adolescents in the US are overweight or obese? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the reason behind this high rate is “too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed. (1)
Making kids exercise is not easy what with the modern gadgets taking away most of their free time. But you need to tell them about the importance of being physically active. MomJunction helps you by listing some interesting exercises for kids. Follow these to make exercise time a family fun time.
Jump To Specific Exercise To Know More About It
- 1. Cycling
- 2. Skipping
- 3. Skating
- 4. Swimming
- 5. Dancing
- 6. Jogging
- 7. Playing Badminton
- 8. Trekking
- 9. Playing Basketball
- 10. Climbing Stairs
- 11. Playing Tennis
- 12. Running Games
Why Should Kids Exercise?
According to popular belief, exercising can boost one’s capacity to think positively and rid stress. Considering the statement, it becomes important for you to get them to follow a daily exercise schedule. It helps them experience the delight of exercising and leading a fit and peaceful life. The younger the age at which your kids start exercising, lesser are their chances of any illnesses. Exercising helps your children by:
- Strengthening immunity
- Improving focus
- Enhancing mood – When you exercise the ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins and norepinephrines are released which help in elevating the moods
- Strengthening the lungs
- Maintaining healthy heart – prevents cardiovascular diseases
- Regulating blood pressure
- Maintaining low cholesterol levels – raises HDL or good cholesterol
- Maintaining a healthy brain and improves memory – aerobic exercises boost levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that is essential for growth of brain cells. Exercises help in generating new nerve cells (neurogenesis). It mobilizes the expression of genes that are believed to enhance brain plasticity (brain plasticity refers to the ability of the brain to change its neural pathways). It also prevents brain tissue loss as older adults as kids grow into adults. Exercising also produces nerve-protecting compounds.
- Purging harmful hormones and releasing the beneficial ones
- Preventing cancers
- Losing weight
- Strengthening bones and muscles
- Helping children sleep well at nights
- Enhancing motor performance skills
- Preventing cold and allergies
- Preventing type 2 diabetes
- Enhancing greater blood circulation and increasing greater transport of oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Remember, more oxygen is equal to more energy.
- Detoxifying the body
- Improving memory
Children are often not interested in exercising. They will find many excuses to drop out or outright tell you they are not enjoying the experience. Find interesting exercise for kids that will keep them to come back more often.
[ Read: Fun Breathing Exercises For Kids ]
Top 12 Exercises For Kids And Benefits:
Cycling is a very good form of exercise. You must ensure that your kids learn cycling at an early age. Here are the many benefits of cycling:
- It toughens the thighs, legs and hip muscles.
- Considered one of the best cardio workouts, it enhances blood flow and improves the functions of the heart and brain.
- Vigorous cycling lessens blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Weight loss is greatly aided by cycling, and early or teenage obesity can easily be prevented.
- Diabetes mellitus can be controlled by regular cycling.
- Fighting tiredness and boosting the resistance power of the body are some of the other benefits that can be achieved through this exercise.
- Cycling facilitates the release of ‘feel good hormones,’ known as ‘endorphins.’
- It boosts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine and provides a sense of relaxation and well-being.
- The increase in the levels of neurotransmitters causes the development of cognitive abilities.
Skipping is perhaps one of the best cardio workouts for kids. Kids are full of energy and need to use it the right way. Here are the many benefits of skipping:
- It helps them utilize their energies in a positive manner.
- Children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are often advised to skip on a regular basis.
- It should not only be considered as an exercise but also as an enjoyment.
- Jumping high repeatedly during skipping strengthens their leg, thigh and calf muscles.
Skating is good entertainment for your kids. Here are the many benefits of skating:
- It adds ample stress to their thigh and leg muscles. This turns their muscles strong
- Skating needs stability and patience. Regular practice instills these qualities in your children.
- Fast paced skating acts as an intense workout and decreases body fat.
- It aids in the rapid movement of thighs, hips and shins and strengthens these muscles.
Swimming is one of the best cardio workouts for your kids. It should always be done few hours after having meals. Here are the many benefits of swimming exercise for children:
- It enhances their muscle and endurance power.
- It also aids digestion.
- It is also a great way to lose weight and is a great breathing exercise.
[ Read: Strength Exercises For Kids ]
Kids love dancing, and if dancing comes with health benefits, what more can one ask for! Here are the many benefits of dancing:
- Dancing is the one exercise that involves complete body movements.
- It helps in losing weight.
- It brings out the artistic side of your kids and increases their concentration.
- It is a good workout that is combined with a lot of fun!
If possible, ask your kids to go out for a jog every day. It is one of the best and easy exercises for kids to practice in the long run. Here are the many benefits of jogging:
- Jogging enhances their mood.
- It enhances their immunity and protects them from various illnesses.
- It works for their brain and heart.
- This fun exercises for kids helps the generation of ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain and provides them with a sense of happiness and fulfillment.
7. Playing Badminton:
Playing badminton comes with many benefits. Here are the many benefits of playing badminton:
- It demands alertness and focus.
- Kids learn aiming, concentrating and hitting hard involving strength.
- The game also requires physical exertion and improves stamina.
Trekking is one of the activities that provide your kids a simultaneous combination of fun and exercise. Ask them to cover long stretches of land that are beautiful, serene and thinly populated. It permits them to be one with nature and enhances their mental comfort. Here are the many benefits of trekking:
- It improves health as it involves being with nature.
- Improves stamina and breathing.
- Increases endurance especially in harsh climates.
- Helps your children understand and appreciate nature.
- Strengthens muscles and limbs.
[ Read: Aerobic Exercises For Kids ]
9. Playing Basketball:
Playing basketball is fun and require your kids to jump high to put the ball into the basket. It involves tackling the ball from others and running. Here are the many benefits of playing basketball:
- All the above aspects ensure an increase in their height and fitness.
- It improves stamina.
- Tones the body and fights issues of being overweight.
10. Climbing Stairs:
Asking your kids to climb the stairs, climb down and repeat the same while jogging may sound like a boring idea. But it is very beneficial and is great if you can manage to make them agree to it. Here are the many benefits of climbing stairs:
- It improves the health of their bones and heart.
- A great way to stay in shape and lose weight.
- Builds stamina and improves breathing.
Tennis is great for:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Muscle development
- Social benefit as most lessons are taught in groups.
[ Read: Relaxation Techniques For Children ]
12. Running Games:
Kids can indulge in some athletics at a sports center. They could also play hide-and-seek and catch games outdoors. Running is excellent for:
- Maintain a healthy heart
- Tone the muscles
- Burning fat
These 12 exercises for kids are very useful in their overall health and development. It is ideal to practice these regularly to reap the benefits. However, it is important to ensure that your children take time out to rest while doing these exercises. For example – Keep few days in the week as exercising days, or better still, decide on how many days a week your child should engage in these. Take away two days for leisure and rest.
Initially, your kid may need encouragement in starting these activities. Join them in the game. A great way to stay fit and also indulge in some parent-child bonding!
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