There’s plenty of evidence to show that exercise is an important key to better health. Regular physical activity can boost a child’s self-esteem, mood and sleep quality. But because of our changing lifestyles and an increasing reliance on technology, both young children and adults are a lot less active these days.
Inactivity in children leads to laziness and obesity. In other words, inactive children are more likely to become inactive adults, exposing themselves to the risk of developing life-threatening conditions later on in their lives. Hence, it is up to all parents of young children to encourage exercise and keep fit from a young age.
Habit for a lifetime
Anything that gets children up and moving is good for them. Besides, regular exercise has lots of health benefits for children and young people. Improving fitness builds a stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles, But these benefits don’t end there, exercise increases the power to concentrate and improves academic performance, lowers stress and encourages healthy all-around growth and development.
Make exercising fun to participate in, and one way of achieving this is by finding exercises your child enjoys. This way your little one will not find the routine a chore and is more likely to stay with it. Eventually, leading to her forming a healthy habit during her formative years.
An important point to bear in mind is that young children tend to immediately jump into exercise activities with vigour and gusto! This is a mistake. Before children indulge in any rigorous play activity or exercise or stretching, they need to go through a simple warm-up routine first. A warm-up helps the body to be prepared for more rigorous exercise.
The best warm-up exercises for children are simple to do, fun, and easy to teach. And when done on a regular basis, they set the stage for a good warm up session.
A good warm-up routine increases blood flow to the muscles, prevents injury, improves performance, as well as improves the range of motion. Spend about five to 10 minutes warming up before moving into a more rigorous activity.
The right warm-up routine
To create an ideal warm-up routine suitable for your child, keep it simple and the pace slow at first. You can modify your child’s warm-up routine to suit her preference. Start with easy forward movements, then speed up as your child eases into flowing with the movement.
Making her jump up and down will add some impact, while you could also think of introducing a zig-zag and some side-to-side movement. Don’t rush, let the flow emerge from the movements you set in motion. Most young children only need about five minutes of warming up.
When working out a warm-up routine for your child, remember to keep the basic movements simple and easy. Avoid complex movements as these may be hard for a child to remember. Even a simple walk can be a good warm-up for young children. To keep your child interested and engaged, keep adding any of the following movements as you move along the path of a healthy growing up routine.
Running is extremely healthy for children and it is fun to run. It helps build stronger bones while strengthening muscles. Seeing running as a kind of fun thing to do will grow on you, staying with you perhaps for an entire lifetime. Playing tag, and organizing timed relays, will get your child up and racing.
Squats help children build endurance, strength, and even self-confidence. Place a small stool behind your child and ask her to squat. As soon as her bottom touches the surface of the stool, she must quickly stand up. Try this one out for the fun of it, your child will find it super fun!
Skipping is great for increasing the heart rate. While it is a total body workout, it also improves core strength. An unexpected bonus: skipping is a workout for little minds as well. A fantastic brain booster, skipping engages both the left and right brain, leading to improved functioning, while improving balance and coordination.
An easy way to do this is to have your child sit with her feet in front and hands behind. Then she slowly lifts her hips off the ground. Help her out at first, as when able to do this on her own, ask her to start walking like a crab. While this may look funny and seem silly, it helps make the back strong and increases the strength of her arms.
After doing the crab walk, flip the routine on its head. Have her walk like a bear, crawling on her hands and feet, without her knees touching the ground. The bear walk is a full brain and body exercise. It not only strengthens the arms and legs but also enhances spatial awareness.
Have your child lay on her belly, then lift her arms and feet off the ground, like a Superwoman flying through the air. When performed correctly, it improves the back, neck, and hamstrings and is great for the vestibular system.
Cross-lateral movements involving crossing one side of the body over to the other, improve brain function, focus, and coordination. The zombie walk involves putting your child’s arms straight out, then bringing one leg out front and trying touching the opposite hand with her toes.
There are many advantages to Stretching has many benefits, including reducing the risk of injury, increasing range of motion, and keeping muscles flexible and strong. But most importantly, stretching is a proven stress reducer in both children and adults alike. has been proven to reduce stress. “Simply sit on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together in front of you, making the shape of your legs into butterfly wings and start to flap the legs like the wings of a butterfly. It’s a relaxing way to begin or end a day.
About My Gym
Play and exercise activities for toddlers and young children can significantly improve their mental and physical health. When taught and played correctly, exercising is the safest of activities to engage in. Depending on what might be best for your child, My Gym offers evaluations and performances as a way of tracking and motivating the progress of its young pupils.
Visit My Gym at your convenience. Choose a day when you will be relatively free and come over with your child in tow. Your child could be an infant (as young as 6 months), toddler or a preschooler, age is not a bar.
My Gym will work in partnership with you and strive to provide the best exercise and learning experiences. Laying a firm foundation for your child’s personal, academic and future growth.
Please note: My Gym classrooms are thoroughly sanitized every day — the tables, the chairs, the children’s activity stations and everything else the child might touch is made safe and clean. Please wear a mask, wash hands frequently, and practice social distancing.