Physical activity has fallen by the wayside for many kids in America, with only one in four getting the recommended amount on a daily basis. Instilling good exercise and nutrition habits at a young age can benefit your children for years to come. While we’ll talk more about nutrition in the future, today we’re taking a look at the importance of fitness, the long-term benefits, and some fun games and exercises to keep your children active. A great place to spur on a kid’s interest in fitness is Rebounderz Trampoline Park, right here in Lansdale.
Obesity is on the rise, with nearly 37 percent of children from the ages of 6-11 years old being considered overweight or obese. It’s recommended for children to have at least 35 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Without this activity, not only will they be at a higher risk of weight-based diseases, they can miss out on the opportunity to strengthen their bones as they grow up.
During childhood is where bones see the most development in their size and strength. Being physically active while you’re young helps determine how strong and healthy the bone mass is through their life. Because bones are a living tissue, it gets stronger as you use them, as they reform consistently to adapt to the stress they are put through.
Weight-bearing exercises are great for strengthening both muscles and bones. Activities like walking, weight training, hiking, jogging, jumping, and dancing are all considered weight-bearing, as they all require you to work against gravity. Jumping on a trampoline may seem like it doesn’t fit, but even though you experience weightlessness, you are still working against gravity to lift yourself into the air.
Cardiovascular exercise is just as important as weight-bearing, and it’s important to include both into any fitness routine, regardless of age. This can be everything from running, swimming, and biking, all the way to, you guessed it, jumping on a trampoline. The main goal of cardio is to strengthen the heart and lungs, as that will help keep blood pressure low, improve muscle strength and flexibility, reduce anxiety and depression, provide weight control, and improve quality of sleep. Cardio is all about pumping oxygen into the bloodstream, which helps improve overall health and ability to fight disease.
The most important aspect of fitness success for just about everyone is that you have to want to do it. Building that desire at an early age can make it a lifelong habit, but it’s hard to get kids motivated to exercise. Start out with a variety of exercises and activities. See what your kids respond to and what they dread. Find ways to make the ones they don’t like more fun, or find activities that accomplish the same goal that they can try out instead. By giving a kid a measure of control in their fitness, it will increase their investment in it. Try switching up activities throughout the year to keep everything fresh and fun.
Use people or characters your kids look up to as motivation. Bring up that Steph Curry and Serena Williams did similar workouts and how it led them to success. Include games and music they enjoy. Making exercise and fitness something to be excited about goes so much further than taking a boot camp style mentality. It’s vital that you are involved in the exercise with them because if you’re just watching from the sideline, it makes them feel isolated or like they’re being forced to do it as you monitor them.
When playing a game, put the emphasis on having fun rather than competition. Long-term fitness and health makes winners of us all! If you need to incentivize your child, use physical activities as a reward. Something like a trip to the park or the zoo is more active and engaging than going to a movie. Exercise should be a part of everyone’s daily routine, so scheduling blocks of activities to be done throughout the day can help instill a regimen and habit. Many people that started working out when they were young have said that if they miss a workout they feel off.
Plan ahead for the possibility of bad weather by including indoor activities and exercises in your routine. This will help build the consistency that is so important to fitness success. Try setting specific goals with a reward tied to them. Something like improving how many sit ups or push ups they can do is an easy milestone that they can focus on and have a toy or book waiting for them when they reach that mark can be all the motivation they need to keep going. Working out can be super fun if you look at it the right way. When you’re helping your child start exercising, you’re in control of how it’s framed. Make it something that they look forward to every day.
Using a whiteboard is a great way to track progress in a way that kids can visualize. If they see how many jumping jacks they did on week one, then compare it to how they’re doing months later, they’ll see in real numbers that they are getting better. That’s exciting to see, no matter how old you are.
As you begin to implement the tips from above, your child will become more comfortable with the act of exercising. At this point, you can take the opportunity to see if they have developed their own goals. If they’ve really taken to running, they may express interest in participating in a 5K run. Many 5K’s are connected to charities, so that is a great chance to have physical activity connected to helping those less fortunate. Maybe they want to join the local recreational baseball league or try their hand at basketball. There are many opportunities to see where this newfound love of fitness can take them.
There are many options and possibilities for starting your child on the road to wellness. With a good foundation, fitness can be carried long into adulthood, assuring long-term health and happiness. When you’re looking for a great way to jumpstart your child’s fitness, call us at Rebounderz Trampoline Park in Lansdale. We have more than trampolines to get them moving. There’s the super exciting Ninja Warrior obstacle course that will test their ninja abilities, a Slamball court so they can dunk just like Lebron, and exercise classes to help improve their aerobic skills. We want to take your family’s fitness to the next level and we know you’re going to have fun doing it. Hope to see you soon!