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Working out with kids is a fine art! Here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of it.
Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know that I love including my kids in my workout and actively encourage a healthy, active lifestyle. Even the baby gets put in a sling and I carry her around (can’t beat some natural strength walking!) That being said, it is a fine art to keep them enthusiastic about it as well as getting what you need out of it. I find my little guy loves the competitive aspect against each other with cardio (and he loves running around) but starts to get bored if I am doing strength or weight training as it is more repetitive.
Luckily Sam decided to offer a few tips and tricks for working out with kids as part of this guest post to ensure everyone has fun but also gets a good workout and why it is so important to encourage physical activities early on.
A Bit About Sam:
Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter, or in a tea shop. Read more of Sam’s work at Ripped.me.
Just let it be healthy, and everything else will fall into place. A phrase often heard by couples taking their first steps in parenthood from their more experienced friends and family trying to wash away their fears and insecurities of what the road ahead might have in store.
What novice parents don’t realise at first is that the impromptu parenting adage stands the test of time and that health truly is the only prerequisite for a happy life. And parents will do anything to ensure their child is happy.
In comes physical activity along with its numerous health benefits for the developing child, no matter the age, but in accordance with their physical and mental capabilities.
A child should be stimulated to be active and energetic from a very early age, and while simple play will suffice until the age of five, afterwards you should take a more serious approach towards shaping your little devils to love sports and nurture a lifelong passion for physical health. Here are some simple tips on how you can have a fun and productive time working out with your kids.
Risk & Reward
The higher the risk, the higher the prize. Exercise is an excellent teacher of lifelong skills and values, if used correctly to facilitate learning, sportsmanship, critical thinking and fast decision-making. Your child should understand the risks that come with any decision, and you should not only devote time to using exercise as a gateway to physical health, but also towards instilling the right values and skills in your child.
A lifelong love for physical activity is born at home, so naturally, you want to be the hero your child looks up to. Be sure to start with simple workouts in your backyard, throwing the ball around or setting up a fun obstacle course. Gradually set the proverbial bar higher over time, teaching your child the importance of shooting high in order to achieve better results in life.
Sportsmanship Builds Happy Adults
A child that doesn’t know how to play nice will not be a team player in their adulthood. And no man is an island in the 21st century. This is why teaching sportsmanship is essential for a developing mind. Be sure to encourage your child to try a variety of sports with you and more importantly, to want to succeed in each one.
This doesn’t mean you should allow them to win, letting your kids win does them no favours. However, you should praise their achievements and inspire them to praise their opponents as well, win or lose. By acknowledging their opponent’s worth, they learn how to win humbly.
Strength Should Be Emphasised
Unfortunately, not all sports were created equal. There is only a handful of sports that don’t develop muscular or skeletal imbalances over time, and even fewer ones are safe for your child to practice with determination and vigour.
Of all the sports in the world, the safest are weight lifting, swimming, and bodyweight training. While swimming will develop the upper body musculature, it doesn’t work the legs enough, leading to imbalances down the road.
Contrary to popular belief, weightlifting is one of the safest sports that not only promote bone density, correct posture and increased muscle mass, it also sets the stage for a strong and happy future.
It doesn’t have to be anything too heavy, just a few weights and a bunch of fun exercises such as squats and push-ups, coupled with a few safety features, such as training gloves and sturdy weightlifting shoes for added friction and your kid is all set to become strong and healthy!
Aerobic Abilities Are Also Important
Strength training coupled with endurance training such as running, jumping, climbing and sprinting brings the best of both worlds together.
Not only will your child become fit and healthy, you will also develop a healthy training habit as well, as there is nothing more important for a mother who has given birth than to strengthen her musculature and reinforce her skeletal system along with elevating her cardio.