The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that children should get at least one hour of exercise per day. Exercise helps your children build muscle, strengthen their bones, stay leaner and increase endurance. Unlike adults, however, children’s muscles and bones are still growing. That’s why it’s essential for them to perform more freehand and aerobic movements and avoid the weights all together. That being said, following are four exercises you and your kids can do together.
Whether you commence or end you your children’s workouts with walking, it’s one of the best overall exercises. It also better ensures that you’ll get that hour workout in as a walk to the park or around the block can take 15 to 30 minutes. One way to encourage your kids to exercise, which includes walking, is to make it fun, according to ABC News. Challenge your kids to walk at a brisk pace which will burn more calories, increase their heartrates and enhance the overall benefits of this exercise. Vary the venues of your walks each day to make it more interesting. During the winter or inclement weather, walk on an indoor track or at the mall.
Most children know how to perform jumping jacks at an early age. It’s one of the first exercises they perform in gym class to warm up. Jumping jacks are also fun and can hasten the heart rate. The Mayo Clinic recommends shooting for 30 seconds when starting out. You can then expand your time or number of reps in subsequent workouts. Count off as you do the jumping jacks to keep everyone in sync.
Push-ups are one of the best overall exercises for building upper body strength. They primarily hit the chest, shoulders, triceps and core of your body. But while push-ups may be a cinch for you, your children may not be able to perform them the same way. That’s why it’s often best to modify the exercise for them. A couple alternate ways of doing push-ups are on a table while standing or on the knees, according to Huffington Post. Demonstrate the movement to your children first, then perform at least one set of eight to 10 reps.
Planks work many muscles in the body, including the abs, lower back and shoulders. Place your elbows on a mat or carpet and raise yourself up on the tips of your toes. Shoot for 30 seconds with this movement when starting out. If your kids can’t perform the movement on their toes, instruct them to kneel as they hold the movement.
Set aside a time each day for you and your kids to exercise. Don’t worry if your walking and exercises fall short of an hour. Most kids can get the rest of their recommended exercise by playing or participating in sports.