How to make exercise fun for children

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The key to effective workouts for kids is fun. Many children have a short attention span so they tend to avoid long-distance or boring training sessions, so the exercises chosen must be short in length and put a smile on their faces.


How to make exercise fun for children

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The key to effective workouts for kids is fun. Many children have a short attention span so they tend to avoid long-distance or boring training sessions, so the exercises chosen must be short in length and put a smile on their faces.


Step One

Take your child to a local park or field. Soccer or football fields with painted lines work well. Set up stations at the four corners of the field. Take a warm-up lap at one corner and designate that corner as “home.” The tennis ball can be left at this corner. During the warm-up lap, place the equipment at each corner.


Step Two

Use the mirror drill to inject fun into an exercise routine. Shuffle back and forth with your child and play catch with the tennis ball. Take the lead for direction changes so she must respond to your movements. The ball will get dropped occasionally but simply pick it up and keep moving. When you feel your child is tiring, drop the tennis ball and race to the next corner of the field.


Step Three

Give the child enough time to catch his breath once you reach the second corner. Have the child backpedal. Once he reaches about 10 to 20 steps backwards, roll the soccer ball towards him. Have the child run to the ball, kick it back to you and then backpedal again. Repeat 5 to 10 times and then run to the next station.


Step Four

Give the child a bodyweight exercise to complete, remembering to let her catch her breath. This exercise should involve some core elements, such as push-ups, sit-ups or wheelbarrow walks. Run to the third station.


Step Five

Put on punching mitts, allowing the child time to recover. Have the child punch for 30 seconds. If punching mitts are not available, use another bodyweight exercise and then sprint home. Give the child an extended rest once he reaches home and allow him to drink water before continuing.


Step Six

Mix up the races to the next stations. Run side-by-side. Let the child start leading and threaten to pass her. Start in the lead and encourage her to pass you. And as long as she is giving effort, always let her win the race.


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