Workout plays an integral part in our fitness at all ages and stages of life. The myriad of workout benefits cannot be emphasized enough; be it lifting weights to just stretching, the good it does is simply amazing. As children are always up and about whether they are indoors or not, it is incumbent on parents to find ways and means of sneaking workouts into children’s routine while maintaining the fun.
The American Academy of Paediatrics stipulates that regular exercises can provide a child with mind-blowing benefits such as greater muscle strength, stronger bones and joints, improved flexibility, more energy, and a better concentration in class.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity can help children improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions. CDC’s guidelines also state that children should get a minimum of an hour of heart-pumping and aerobic exercise plus an hour of bone-strengthening and muscle-strengthening exercises three times a week.
The main deal here is how to sneak proper workouts into the already “busy” routine of children and still get them to enjoy it.
This article will teach you the simplest tricks of sneaking workouts into the lives of your children without it being a headache for you and a play-time-stealing monster for your children.
1. Leadership by example
It is a fact beyond every doubt that children learn from what they see, especially what they see their parents do. Hence, setting the right example is crucial. Make your children your “handbags” when going to the gym to exercise. With time, they will try to mimic what you do and eventually ask to join. You can then decide to sign them up. This is why the best gym in Accra, Fitness 1 Gym, has designed a unique session for children while their parents are also engaged in workouts.
2. Don’t stop the fun; make it more fun
Exercising shouldn’t be all formal and boring. Let there be a pop of life and color in whatever workout you are planning for your children. It shouldn’t be stressful either. Take out all the boring exercises and tools from the fitness routine and include those with a fun angle. You can consider aerobics and cardio since they are fast-paced and children like them. At Fitness 1 Gym, there is a well-thought plan for the children by professional trainers. Every Saturday morning, Fitness 1 Gym has Dance Class For Kids scheduled for 2 hours (10 am-12 pm). It is two fun-filled hours full of excitement and fitness. You get to see your children enjoy their workout session, and they get to see you doing the same.
3. Make it age-appropriate
Not every kind of exercise is fit for every child. Children of different ages, physiques, and stamina have specific exercises that they can handle. Some can go longer than others, and some need more help than others. Yoga might not be quite right for tender children because it gets them bored quickly, and they are likely to fall asleep. But guess what, your child could be that special one who might love it. The trick is to know your child and what fitness program works for him or her. Planks for 60 seconds will also tire most of them in microseconds.
All you have to do is study your child more and know what is best for them. This can be quite tedious for you as a parent, that is why our trainers at Fitness 1 Gym have been expertly trained to know the right kind of exercise routines to assign to every child. You can contact the gym or visit us at One Airport Square (behind Holiday Inn Accra).
4. Force isn’t the way. Please don’t force them
Forcing things on your children will put them off at the word go, and we do not want that right now. If you make workouts compulsory and strict for your children, they might not be encouraged to follow it in the long run. You can sweet-talk them into working out by laying the amazing benefits of fitness to them. For instance, telling your son how strongly built he can become when he works out can ignite a spark in him that will not quench anytime soon (that is, if you help him to do it right or get him registered at a good gym).
On the other hand, you can involve a healthy competition to motivate them. Ask your children to race over a particular stretch or even to a pole to see who runs fast. You can do this with your child if you are alone with them (allow your child to win; it helps).
5. Try mind games
Mind games are also the best form of keeping your children fit. Try games like puzzles and scavenger hunts. Hide stuff like bottles, phones, cans, or toffees and ask your child or children to find them for a reward. This will make them run around and do a lot of thinking. In the end, you wouldn’t have only helped their pretty little brains, but you’d have also helped them stretch their legs and do some cardiovascular exercises. These games can be done indoors or outdoors.
6. Outdoor sports and more
Most children, if not all, have certain sports that they love. Do not ignore such sports and force your own on them, but rather build on their favorites and come up with a routine that will make your child or children play that particular sport.
If your child likes cycling, you can get him or her a bicycle to ride outside and increase their riding time. Maybe you’re worried the environment isn’t safe or conducive enough for that kind of sport, you can register your child with us at Fitness 1 Gym. They will love our state of the art gym. We love family. This is why we have a child-friendly environment to accommodate your children. You should allow them to run after their friends sometimes. It’s an acceptable form of exercise but do keep an eye on them, so they don’t hurt themselves or go far. You can also decide to play games that involve running with them at home.
7. Make memories, document and reminisce
What is working out without some music and videos? Take pictures and videos of your children when they are working and show them to your children later. This will make them happy and help them track their progress, and ginger them to do more. Writing down every inch gained in height, the pound lost or gained, or weight maintained will also motivate them to do more.
Once in a while, maybe during dinner, a walk or ride to school, or even just watching TV, talk about the fitness sessions with your child and get to know what they think about the routine and make the necessary changes if the need arises. Get involved every step of the way. This will make them have happy moments with you and make their routines unforgettable parts of their lives.
Children do grow fast, so grab this opportunity while they are still tender. Do not just see it as fitness sessions; see it as a bonding session because fitness sessions create lasting family bonds.
Here are some workouts your children can try:
Benefits of working out that your child will want to hear:
- Very strong bones and muscles
- Less risk of becoming overweight or obese
- Higher concentration in class
- Higher IQ
- A better outlook on life
As you’ve been privy to the easy-peasy tricks of sneaking fitness into the lives of your little ones, this is the best time to drop the old approach and inculcate these. They say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but we at Fitness 1 Gym say, “A stretch a day keeps the doctor away.”
Join our growing fitness community with your children. Send us a message to sign up today.
If you tried these tricks and they helped, kindly let us know in the comments section.
Marisa LaScala, The Best Exercises for Kids to Keep Them Active and Healthy, According to Experts, May 3, 2020
Sanjana Lagudu, 15 Simple Exercises For Kids To Do At Home, August 18, 2020
Shivanshi Tomar, 5 Easy And Interesting Ways To Get Your Kids To Exercise, July 16, 2020
Mary L. Gavin. MD, Kids and Exercise, June 2018