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Does it feel like pulling teeth trying to get your kids to exercise? Do you need a list of exercises for kids that will get them active without making it feel like exercise is a chore?
Today’s kids have so much technology that it has them trapped on the couch or in their rooms playing video games or perfecting their Snapchat filter faces.
This past Christmas my husband and I debated strongly on whether or not a PS4 for our son and a Chromebook for our daughter would be worth the hassle.
These were pretty much what their wish lists consisted of. But, we knew it would make it difficult to get them out from in front of their screens and keep them active.
We were right.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think banning electronics in your home is the cure all for too much screen time. But I do think too much screen time can have a negative effect on kids’ health.
So, how have we managed to find the right balance between screen time and activity so our kids don’t become complete couch potatoes?
Fun Exercise For Kids!
Whether you want your kids to exercise for weight loss, to maintain their physical health or to learn fitness as a lifestyle, exercise for kids can be fun.
I know it’s typical to correlate going to the gym and sweating those pounds away on the elliptical or treadmill when you think of what workouts are like.
And truth be told, I actually enjoy my time on the treadmill and a short body strength workout. I mean, if that’s the only alone time I can get, I’ll take it.
However, fitness doesn’t have to be so dreadful (even for us adults). You might be surprised what is considered exercise.
In my book, when my heart rate goes up and I’m actively burning calories, I’m getting some exercise in. Sweeping, mopping, dancing around the house with my earbuds in to the latest Maroon 5 song, I consider all of this to be exercise.
The same goes for the kids. Making exercise fun for kids can be as easy as playing a game of tag or racing to the end of the driveway.
THE MOST FUN LIST OF EXERCISES FOR KIDS
The easiest way to get kids motivated to workout is to trick them into thinking they’re actually just playing. (Great parenting hack, huh? They never suspect a thing.)
Here is the best list of exercises for kids that are easy and simple and most enjoyable.
Swimming is a great exercise option for kids. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- It’s low impact on muscles and joints.
- Your body stays cool even as your heart rate rises.
- It’s a full body workout with strength building and aerobics.
- The kids will stay in the water until their fingers start to wrinkle, so you know they’re getting in some good exercise.
Pro Mom Tip: Make sure to have some healthy snacks ready for when they get out of the water. Swimming makes them super hungry.
Basketball is another great option. Playing basketball is a good way to get in some cardio, which is a great way to burn fat.
According to the Better Health Channel, basketball also provides the following health benefits:
- helps build endurance
- improves balance and coordination
- develops concentration and self-discipline
- builds muscle while burning calories
This past summer we bought the kids a basketball goal just like this one to go in the driveway. This is one of the best investments we’ve made.
If you decide to get one, make sure to purchase one with a shatterproof backboard. They last so much longer.
My husband and I love getting outside with the kids and playing a game of “Make-it Take-it.” The kids eat it up!
Dancing is another whole-body workout, and it can be so much fun!
On weeknights, if it’s late when I get home and I know I won’t have time to get on the treadmill or go for a walk, I will crank up some tunes while preparing dinner.
It never fails, the kids always end up in the kitchen with me and we’ll dance ’til we are out of breath. Cardio at it’s finest.
Another great way we have been able to use dancing as fitness is with the Just Dance video games. You can get them for almost any console type.
We have them for the Wii and Play Station 4, and this is one game we get our money’s worth out of.
You wouldn’t believe the workout you can get from playing a video game!
Check out the prices for Just Dance here.
KIDS EXERCISE GAMES
There is no better way to get the kids exercising than fun games for kids that involve a lot of movement. They will be sweating and burning those calories without realizing it’s actually good for them.
This list of kids exercise games will ensure your kids are active and having fun:
- Obstacle courses
- Hula hooping
- Jumping rope
- Relay races
- Hop scotch
- Tug of war
Even if you don’t have a skating rink nearby, skating can be done around your neighborhood or in your driveway if it’s big enough.
One of the best benefits of skating for exercise is it builds core muscles. It’s a full body exercise, but it mostly uses the legs to propel you and your core to maintain balance.
An added benefit of skating is that it’s a social activity. Skating can be a great way for your kids to make new friends and keep them outside and away from the screens.
Riding bikes is another social activity that keeps kids moving and away from digital time sucks, like video games.
A few blocks around the neighborhood or the track at the local park will have your kids smiling and enjoying the great outdoors. And riding bikes is an activity the whole family can enjoy.
If you want to invest in your child’s health and teach them responsibility and focus, a gymnastics class might be where you should invest.
Practicing gymnastics requires focus and determination to build skill. If you start your children in gymnastics at a young age, they will enjoy exercise for the rest of their lives.
Some of the benefits of gymnastics for exercise are:
- Increased flexibility
- Maintained bone health
- Building muscle & burning calories
- Increased endurance
- Improved balance and coordination
Sometimes our children don’t want to listen to what we have to say. But coming from someone else, they are more accepting of information.
Enrolling you child in a class with other kids is sometimes the solution to helping your child get the exercise they need.
Martial arts has a lot of the same benefits for kids as gymnastics, especially the ability to keep them active. But there are some additional benefits of martial arts, such as learning respect, teamwork and increased self-confidence.
AEROBICS FOR CHILDREN (YOUTUBE VIDEOS)
While aerobics can seem a little more like work for kids than these other fun exercise activities, aerobics can be fun, too.
There are free videos on Youtube for kids of all ages. The best thing about these videos is they use kid friendly music and provide routines for kids that are challenging but easy enough that it doesn’t scare them away.
And being able to see other kids their age working out is a good way to motivate your children to workout.
EXERCISE FOR CHILDREN’S GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Trying to get your kid to exercise can be difficult, especially if fitness is something new to them. But, as you can see from the list of exercises for kids above, fitness for kids can be a ton of fun. It’s all a matter of how you approach it.
Whether you want to encourage your child to exercise to lose weight, increase physical health or learn healthy lifestyle habits, this list of exercises for kids is a great place to start.
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