One of the best ways to get kids to exercise is by finding ways to get them active without making it feel like actual exercise. From fun games to trampoline tricks and even yoga, here are 10 steps you can take to get your kids to play hard and thus get exercise without even knowing it!
1. Run wheelbarrow races
A wheelbarrow race is a multigenerational game in which one player walks on his hands, while a partner holds his legs. This game offers an upper-body workout for the person walking on the ground and challenges the total body strength of the player holding the feet.
2. Try yoga for kids
Yoga is not only great for adults but also for kids well. It improves core strength, strengthens their muscles and increases agility, balance and coordination. One of the popular poses for kids is the Cosmic kids, Yoga kids, Simhasana or Lion Pose. For instance in Lion pose; kids sit on their heels and place their hands on their thighs. Sitting up tall, they take a big inhale and then roar sticking the tongue out. After a few rounds, the kids hold the pose with the tongue out and look up in between eyebrows. This game is really helpful for stretching the ankles and quadriceps and strengthening the diaphragm, which improves breathing. It’s also great for releasing tension in the upper body, particularly the facial muscles.
3. Trampoline tricks
Ten minutes of jumping on a trampoline is equal to the health benefits of running for half an hour. Jumping is key to a child’s mental and physical development and helps to accelerate the progress of motor skills, balance and coordination.
Make sure your trampoline has a safety net, and then try out these fun moves with your kids:
· Knee lifts: As you and your kids jump up, pull your knees up to your chest and try to touch your feet. This move helps to tone lower body muscles.
· Seat drops: Jump up and pull your legs straight in front of you, parallel to the mat. Land seated on the mat and rebound back up to a standing position so that you are ready to jump up and repeat in a continuous motion.
· Starfish: As you jump up, quickly extend your legs and arms horizontally into a starfish position. Pull your arms and legs back in to return to the mat in the basic jump position.
4. Crab walk
A demonstration by an adult is usually best. Pretend to be a crab: Walk sideways on your feet and hands with your torso and head facing up. As you and the kids’ crab-crawl around the room, you’ll tone your arms and backs. As the kids’ endurance increases, you can increase the distance. To increase the challenge, find out who can crab-crawl the longest. This exercise game strengthens the backs of the hips and legs.
5. Skip, hop
Helping young kids learn how to skip and hop improves their coordination and provides you with a cardiovascular workout. Skipping, Jumping and hopping, movements creates an impact on the skeleton, increases bone density. To make it fun, designate a finish line and have the kids hop forward and backward as they make their way across the room.
6. A to Z fitness
Alphabetize some moves for example, B is for bend; bend and touch the tip of your toes or G is for grab; let the kids compete on who will be the fastest to run and grab the big flag. Sing the alphabet song with your kid and then ask him or her to sing it with his own suggestions.
7. Create a playground Olympics
One exercise you will love to do as a family is Playground Olympics. The rules are as follows: You have to go through all the playground equipment slides down slides; swing on swings, hand-walk the monkey bars and climb all the bars and whoever gets through first wins. Do this for a half an hour and you’ll burn 150-250 calories. You can get a workout during this time by helping your little ones through the equipment.
8. Dance party
Hold disco nights with your kids and several neighbors or friends. Move the furniture aside, fill the CD player with dance tunes, and lets the kids take turns dancing using a flashlight as a strobe light. Let the kids all dance for about an hour to two. Play their favorite songs because they probably know all the words to the songs and really dance; it’s hilarious to see the younger ones try to mimic them.
9. Sneak workouts into activities
Have your toddler or kid walk instead of riding in the cart at the supermarket, and take the stairs or walk up the escalator. If your kids’ preschool is near, walk him or her to school instead of driving.
10. Team up for gardening
Kids are great at digging up dirt, so let them turn over the soil and help you plant new crops. Gardening prevents osteoporosis, and makes vegetables appetizing to kids if you’re planting them. You can have them water the plants daily.
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