First off, what is aerobic exercise?
Aerobic exercise is movement that gets your blood pumping faster around your whole body. It makes your heart beat more quickly, causing your lungs to take in more oxygen. This causes you to breathe more heavily during the exercise.
Aerobic exercise is very important for children. It helps keep their hearts, lungs, and blood vessels healthy. It can also help them keep or get to a healthy weight. Kids who exercise tend to have:
- Better heart and lung fitness
- Lower levels of body fat
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Better chances of being healthy adults without chronic disease
So, how much aerobic exercise?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. They advise that aerobic activity should make up most of those 60 minutes.
Children should make sure to get vigorous aerobic activity on at least three days a week, says the DHHS. What does that mean? Moderate aerobic activity means your child’s heart will beat more quickly than normal. He or she will breathe more heavily than normal. With vigorous activity, your child’s heart will beat much more quickly than normal, and he or she will breathe much more heavily than normal.
Let’s get started!
Here are some aerobic activities your child may enjoy:
Choose activities that are age appropriate and that your children will enjoy. If they are having fun, there is a much greater chance that they will want to continue being active. If you need some more specific ideas, keep reading!
Get the whole family involved!
To give you a kick-start and make aerobic activity fun for the whole family, here are some specific ideas:
1) The Family Fit Obstacle Course
You will need some stations. (Let the kids help with this; children often come up with a very creative approach.) Here is what you will need to do:
1) Set up 4-6 Stations.
Station 1 = Throwing stuffed animals into a bucket
Station 2 = Jumping Jacks
Station 3 = Sit-ups
Station 4 = Push-ups or plank holds
Station 5 = Jump Rope
If the weather is nice you can do this activity in a playground using the jungle gym, ladders, slides and swings.
2) Designate what kind of movement you would like to do as you travel to each of the stations. It could be skipping, jogging, jumping, etc.
3) Time it.
Spend 30 seconds at each station before moving on to the next one. Try to see if you can complete 3 rounds.
An obstacle course not only provides a great workout for you and your family, but it provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your child. Use anything you can find, and feel free to make your obstacle course indoors or out.
2) The Superhero Challenge
1) Spider Man Jumps (Cone Jumps)
Set up cones or any safe marker approximately 5 feet apart. The goal is to jump back and forth between the cones ten times like Spider-Man. Jumping is an excellent cardio and plyometric exercise. It helps to build explosiveness and speed, and it works on elements of acceleration (take off phase) and deceleration (landing phase).
2) Superman Sprints
This is a game of time and speed. The sprinter must run continuous laps down and back (cone to cone) for thirty seconds without stopping. This game was designed to test endurance. You can increase the time to 45 seconds the next time around.
3) Batman Jumps
Batman jumps are very similar to jumping jacks, but with a twist. Rather than starting with feet together and hands to the side (closed position), the child should start with their feet crossed (one leg over the other) and their hands crossed over their chest. Then, just like a jumping jack, your child should uncross their hands and legs simultaneously and land in an open position.
3) The Jump Rope Challenge
Ask your child how many times he thinks he can jump rope without stopping. If the goal is achieved or passed, WOOHOO!: a sticker (or two or three) is collected, depending on what his anticipated number of jumps was. You and your child can compete with each other, too, if you are up to the challenge.
Make sure to include a cool down and drink some water.
The purpose of a cool down is to lower the heart rate, relax the muscles, and regulate the body and mind.
And most important of all…Keep it Fun!
Energetic Juniors specializes in personal training for kids (in fact, that’s all we do!) If you’re looking for a trainer to work with your child, take a look at the full range of personal training sessions we provide and contact us at 212-879-1566 for more information. Take a look at our site www.energeticjuniors.com