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Children's Fitness

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  • Children's Fitness

    Greetings from South Africa! Not wanting to sound like 'one of those mothers', I was wondering about children's fitness? In summer we have no problem getting outdoors cycling, running, swimming etc; it's just winters I need help. What can I do to keep their overall fitness up & keep it down to 20min sessions?

  • #2
    Skipping rope? Mini-trampoline/rebounder? Indoor climbing wall? Dance classes?
    Annie Ups the Ante


    • #3
      Can the kids also do the squads, push ups etc like we do...just less of course?


      • #4
        Designate an hour per day where electronics are switched off and then open the back door and kick them out...My kids love their trampoline/bikes/swings/ scooters etc......they are naturally very active kids and don't get fed many sweets at all..


        • #5
          We just have a rain problem in winter. Sweets & electronics are already switched off during the week. My daughter is a good swimmer, but I don't want to start the swimming through out the year, like her friends, as she will get bored too soon. So I need to get her fit for when swimming season starts.


          • #6
            Do you want this to be stuff they do at home or another class?

            I don't know how big your house is, but obstacle courses are great fun.

            You could create a mini-circuit workout - a minute or two of an activity then change, and include plenty of fun things like star jumps or crazy dance moves.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lou-Marie View Post
              Can the kids also do the squads, push ups etc like we do...just less of course?
              Yeah thats fine. Sometimes when my 6 year old asks me for something I'll tell him it'll cost him ten push-ups .


              • #8
                My daughter is 7 yo and we live in a place where winter lasts 6+ months of the year. As the weather gradually becomes worse, I start adding up active classes for her. Normally she starts with athletic 2 classes a week, in September and October, and I increase it to 3 -4 classes a week in the dead of winter. She has done swimming since age 4, last winter I set her up with diving and that was the BEST thing ever, because they do dryland gymnastics type of stuff there and then jump into the water, she loves it! We also tried badminton and basketball. On our own, we play ping-pong, go to Zumba together once in a while, or to the pool and climbing wall. She doesn't like ice-skating, but I do. But she now tries to roller-blade, so fingers crossed she will be more willing to skate.

                We also go for walks and frequent a snow hill nearby for sledding. Oh, and a play gym, they set up play-gym every Sunday with a bouncy slide, and bunch of balls, hoops, mats etc.

                My daughter also takes a huge interest in the gym, so she often asks to go to the gym with me, and I teach her push-ups, pull-ups, squats on the bosu ball and stretching. Yesterday she refused to leave the rec centre until she tried the Kaiser bike. She told me it is a good practice for her biking (she can't yet make the transition to the two-wheeler).

                Now, I guess, I sound like one of those moms....
                My Journal:
                When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


                • #9
                  Give them a stick and let them outside


                  • #10
                    My daughter is 6 yr old and she used to go to gymnastics class regularly once a week, but not now due to the hot weather (and no air conditioning in the gym).
                    These days she's interested in my bodyweight training at home, so I'm playing with her with those exercises.

                    bear walk, spider walk, seal walk, crab walk, assisted handstand, cartwheel, box jump, side jump,
                    bar hanging, half bridge, kneeling push-up, squat, table pose, tree pose, down dog pose, etc.

                    There are so many bodyweight exercises and yoga poses you can enjoy with your children at home.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lou-Marie View Post
                      Can the kids also do the squads, push ups etc like we do...just less of course?
                      Full push-up might be a little difficult for the kids, but kids (especially younger kid) tend to do squat (without weight) better than adults.
                      Squat is supposed to be very natural movement and younger kids can do it surprisingly well.

                      Here are the famous pictures about "squat like a baby"

                      Squat Like a Baby @ Bamboo Core Fitness


                      • #12
                        aside from his running around outside for at least 2 hrs per day, we go swimming once a week (indoor pool), we do yoga and mobility work (foam rolling -- he loves it), and we do a lot of walking/hiking as a family.

                        i really don't worry about it, to be honest.


                        • #13
                          When I was a kid, I loved running up and down the stairs. I'm sure I drove my parents crazy. I would run up them, run/jump down them, run across the floor, do a tumble in front of the TV and then repeat. This was, of course, while my parents were watching TV. I would also just run up and down the stairs as many times as there were stairs. Or, I'd spell out my spelling words, one letter per stair. Your kids could practice spelling or math facts the same way (depending on their age), climbing a stair, doing a push-up,squatting, lunging, skipping, hopping once per letter or fact.

                          Make sure it's fun, though! Things are almost always more fun when the parent does it with the kids, too. Another fun thing, as someone else said, is races across the floor as different animals (slither like a snake, crab walk, flying like a bird, hopping like a kangaroo, bear crawls, walking like a monkey, etc) or with different movements (skipping, running, "skating," tiptoeing, lunching, walking sideways, walking backward, hopping on one foot, spinning in circles, leaping, jogging).

                          I asked a similar question a few years ago for ideas on how to keep my preschool students occupied at the end of the day. Let me see if I can find that thread and if there were any ideas that would apply to your situation...


                          • #14
                            Winterbike had some good ideas when I asked my question:

                            Originally posted by Winterbike View Post
                            General tip: trigger their imagination. Kids that age don't care about sit-ups or burpees or stuff like that. They'll have much more fun if you use a general theme and stick to it. You could try moving like an animal, it's a classic.

                            Jump like a frog
                            Run like a lion on all fours
                            Run like an ostrich (with your arms glued to your side)
                            Forward rolls like a monkey
                            Crawl like a snake
                            Walk like an elephant (straight legs, one arm mimics the trump)

                            You can also ask them to make the same cry the animals make.

                            Whatever activity you do, ALWAYS add something imaginary to it. Doing a circuit? Crossing the jungle! Jumping from point A to point B? Floor is lava! They'll have much more fun that way.


                            • #15
                              keep it down to 20min sessions
                              Bwah hah hah hah. Healthy kids probably "exercise" for six hours a day. There's nothing wrong with that!

                              So I need to get her fit for when swimming season starts.
                              Isn't that what swimming season is for? I'm afraid you're really overthinking this. People always get a little restful in the winter. It's a chance to recover, sit in homeostatic idle for a bit, etc. As soon as kids get outside, *pow* they will intrinsically become fit, you don't have to do anything.
                              Last edited by Knifegill; 06-20-2013, 11:32 PM.
                              Crohn's, doing SCD