Kids’ Exercises

When many adults think of exercising, they picture themselves working out in gyms, walking on treadmills or lifting weights. According to KidsHealth.org, however, exercise for kids means playing and moving their bodies. Kids exercise in soccer practices, gym classes at school and in dance classes. They also get exercise when they ride bicycles, play tag or are at recess.

Endurance Exercises

Endurance exercises for kids involve engaging in regular aerobic activities. In aerobic exercise, a person breathes harder and the heart beats quicker. When done continually and regularly, aerobic activity helps strengthen the heart and enhances the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the cells most in need of it. Examples of aerobic activities for kids include bicycling, swimming, walking, playing tennis, inline or ice-skating, jogging, running, dancing, playing volleyball, basketball or softball.

Strength Exercises

Strengthening exercises for kids do not necessarily involve weight lifting. Though some kids can do weightlifting, it is best for this to occur with the supervision of experienced adults. Not all kids require formal weight-training regimes to stay strong, however. Stomach crunches, push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups all help strengthen and tone children’s muscles. Kids can also develop strength in playful ways by climbing trees, wrestling or doing headstands or handstands.

Flexibility Exercises

Stretching exercises help kids enhance their flexibility, allowing their joints and muscles to bend and expand to their full range of motion. Kids can do stretching exercises in gymnastics, dance and karate classes by practicing cartwheels, doing the splits or back bends.

Yoga for Kids

Yoga is also a great exercise for kids to do to help them develop their strength, endurance and flexibility. Kids’ yoga classes generally include many different animal poses, which kids enjoy imitating, including making the same noises as the animals. They also like imitating things like mountains and trees through yoga. Yoga is particularly beneficial for children because of the relaxation exercises it contains, which help kids calm their bodies and minds down and channel their energy in appropriate ways. Yoga also helps children focus better on their homework assignments and calms any anxiety they have toward taking tests.

Tips

Try to help your kids develop a regular schedule for playing outside or with friends to help them stay active. It is also a good idea to sign kids up for a variety of classes that incorporate ample physical fitness. Make sure to do exercise that includes the whole family, to encourage kids to move around; hiking as a family or going for a group swim is a great way for parents to serve as fitness role models for their kids.

About this Author

Ripa Ajmera has been writing for six years. She has written for ABCNews.com, General Nutrition Center (GNC), TCW Finance, Alliance for a New Humanity, Washington Square News and more. She was a Catherine B. Reynolds Scholar from 2006-2008 and graduated from New York University Stern School of Business with an Honors degree in Marketing.