Children's Exercise Guide: Fun Indoor Exercises for Kids
Games you and your babysitter can do with kids that will boost their heart rate, keep them entertained and inspire healthy habits.
It's snowing outside - again. With little ones - or big ones -- stuck inside and feeling trapped, it's easy to resort to TV and video games to pass the time. But after too much Mickey Mouse and not enough movement those young bodies will only gain weight and lose muscle.
What can you do? How do you stimulate your children to exercise - to move - indoors? Whether you or your nanny are home with your kids, it's important that one of you is getting everyone off the couch and elevating heart rates - while still giggling and having fun, of course.
"The importance of exercise for youth should not be understated, says Dr. David Bernhardt who specializes in primary care sports medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "Rather than getting your youngsters involved in a lot of structured sports, the focus should be on a variety of free play activities both in the home, and outdoors," he adds.
Indoors or out, making exercise fun can excite children to move around and get them physically vital, stronger and more energetic. It's a great first step on the road to cultivating a lifetime of health and fitness.
We've created four exercise activities that parents can use to entice their children to run, jump, push, pull, play, dance, balance, stretch, and let rip a little, bringing fresh blood to their muscles, looseness to their limbs, and alertness to their brains.
But first, why should children exercise? In a nutshell: By developing in your children a love of movement when they're young, you are setting them up to be stronger, healthier, and disease-free when they're older.
Read this guide for the exciting physical and mental benefits of exercise, as well as fun, playful heart-pounding indoor games you can create for kids of all ages.
Note: The National Association for Sport and Physical Education has guidelines for the amount of daily exercise children aged 1 - 12 should receive, and these are listed for each age group. It's important to keep in mind that these are only recommendations, that all body movement is good, and a burst of 10 or 15 minutes of exercise is worthy. The goal of the following activities is not to develop athleticism or foster competition. It's simply to help instill in your children a love of movement and show them that exercise can be fun.
And remember, have a water bottle nearby so they can drink during the activities.
Author, ANNE ETRA is a writer and fitness professional with a passion for fitness at every age. She has taught and trained people aged 8-92, which allows her to consider optimum ways to grow strong when you're young and stay strong as you get older. Learn more about Anne.
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