How to Introduce Fitness to Kids?


Quarantine Days are going on in full swing. Staying home is the safest solution to defend COVID-19, and it has to be done without any excuses so that we remain safe. Staying home isn’t enough; you have to make sure to wash your hands regularly and stay hygienic.

Staying home is difficult for everybody, especially for those who go out daily. But this is the most difficult for kids. If you are a parent, you might know the trouble of keeping them engaged in the house.

Have you introduced fitness to your kid? If not, this is the perfect time for it. You have plenty of time to spend with your family and kids. So you should use it wisely.

Importance of Fitness in Kids

Fitness and physical activities are very important for kids. A healthy childhood means the children have to be properly active. If you start it at their early stage, it will help them to develop their motor skills and muscles. It will also reduce the risk of developing overuse injuries. They will have a reduced risk of chronic illness.

Experts recommend one hour of moderate to high-intensity aerobic exercise every day. Being physically active helps them to remain unbeaten in their school too.

We, adults, need to build a foundation for strength training by doing proper exercises in balance and proper form and movement. The same has to be applied for kids too. They have to be given practice and strategies that match their age and fitness levels.

Age and Fitness

As mentioned earlier, children have to be given training according to their age, nothing more, nothing less. Have a look at the fitness lessons to be given to the kids according to age.

Age 3 - 5

Children in this age group will be physically active throughout the day. If you want to keep them at a healthy weight, you have to give them regular activities to improve bone health. You can introduce them to sports, like soccer, basketball, etc. But, remember that any game at this age is for fitness and fun, and not competition.

You can also start basic swimming lessons for the kids at this age. It will help your child to remain active. Before starting formal swimming lessons, you can teach them blowing bubbles and underwater exploration. At the age of 4 or 5, you can teach the kids breath control, floating, and basic strokes.

If you are entirely indoors now, table tennis and billiards are also good choices. They will find it exciting, and you can later shift them to outdoor basketball once the quarantine days are over, and it is safe outside.

Age 6 - 8

At this age, you can watch your kids hit a pitched baseball and pass a soccer ball or basketball. They are now ready for gymnastics routines too. Gift them a two-wheeled bike, and you can see them confidently pedal and steer it. This is the perfect time to expose children to diverse athletic and fitness-related activities.

Start training them with simple exercises at home. They will love aerobics. You can teach them yoga too.

Ages 9 - 11

This is the time when children develop hand-eye coordination. They can now hit and accurately throw a baseball. They are also able to make solid contact with a golf or tennis ball. At this age, you can encourage competition. But make sure that you don’t focus entirely on winning.

They are perfect for events and competitions now. You can take them for short triathlons or distance running races if they are trained well and maintain healthy hydration.

As it is difficult for outdoor activities now, make sure that your kids of this age group are given proper physical exercises regularly at home itself. Spare 30-60 minutes with them for their exercise session.

Age 12 - 14

Studies show that as the kids reach adolescence, they lose interest in the structured environment of organized sports. Strength- or muscle-building exercises will be their interest now. But, do not encourage lifting heavy weights unless your child has entered puberty.

Stretchy tubes and bands, body-weight exercises like squats, and pushups are all perfect for them. These exercises develop strength with reduced risks on bones and joints.

During periods of growth spurts and the early teenage years, children are at the biggest risk of injury. Make sure that your child does not lift heavy weights or uses incorrect form when throwing or running.

Age 15 and above

Once your child has crossed puberty, they are ready to lift weights. They can now be introduced to weight training classes. Poor form is dangerous for muscles and can even cause fractures.

You can even encourage them for endurance events like triathlons or marathons. Like adults, proper training is highly essential for teenagers too.

How to motivate kids?

Even though physical exercises and activities are a vital part of the development and growth of children, it is tough to motivate them for these activities. If they get bored or frustrated at any point, they may not be ready for the activities anytime sooner. So it is essential to keep them motivated.

Choosing the activities according to the age of the kid is highly important. If you don’t, the child will lose interest very soon. Do not force a 3year old for aerobics; likewise, a teenager won’t be interested in very simple activities. So choose the activities wisely.

Parents must make sure that they give their kids plenty of opportunities to keep them active. As of now, home activities are the only option. But as the situation gets better and life is back to normal, do not restrict children indoors. Take them outdoors and let them have fun in different environments.

Enjoyment is a vital factor. Unless kids have fun, they won’t engage in any activities. So a fun element in whatever activity you chose for them. If children like it, they will want to do the activity more.

Make sure to praise and encourage children’s efforts. If they feel that their efforts are being noticed, they will feel accomplished and even try other activities.

Food and Nutrition

Quarantine days are the perfect time to feed your kids healthy and nutritious food. If you want your children to be physically active and fit, you must feed them food that helps them to be healthy. Here are the tips you can try to help your children’s health.

Include variety in the food. Do not go with the same item regularly. Try to include five servings of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, two fruits, and three vegetables.

Make sure that your kids drink both water and milk. Water is very necessary to keep their body hydrated; milk gives calcium and minerals for the strength of bones. You can also serve them juices. But avoid cold drinks, soda, sugary drinks, etc.

Do not overfeed. Do not force your kids to eat more if their stomachs are full. Overeating will lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Final Thoughts

It is always important to remain healthy. If the kids are active and fit from their childhood, it will help them throughout their life. If you want your kid to grow as a healthy adult, you will have to build a healthy foundation for them. Help them to build lasting habits that will add to their overall health always.