10 Exercises for Kids Aged 4-12 Years

10 Exercises for Kids Aged 4-12 YearsPhysical activity is an important element of a fun and vibrant lifestyle.  Learning to be physically active is something that requires a sound exercise plan, regardless of age.  For young kids aged anywhere from four years to 12 years, exercise is important for growth and muscular development.  In addition, a regular exercise program is a great way to help prevent childhood obesity.  Starting this vital aspect in your kid’s life is a valuable gift that they will have for the rest of their lives.

Kids of all ages love to play and have fun, which is why it is important for every kid to enjoy exercising at a young age.  So where should your kid start with exercise?  Do they start by lifting weights or do they run until they tirelessly fall to the ground?  The main element you need to be focused on is having your kid get 60 minutes every day of activity.  However, the exercises they choose is up to them.  Listed below are 10 kid-approved exercises for kids of all ages, especially for your youngest at age four and your oldest at age 12.

10 Approved Exercises for Kids Aged 4-12 Years

  1. Child development requires time and patience.  For young kids to play any sport, the most important thing a parent needs to understand is that many young children still are developing motor skills necessary for sports.  With that said, playing in a team sport or sport activities with friends and family can be a great way for the kids to learn important coordination and motor skills, while burning off all that energy.  It is easy to accumulate over 60 minutes when playing a sport.
  2. Be extra cautious on swimming, as drowning and accidents are a serious problem in the summer months.  With that said, swimming with your kids is a great way for the entire family to get healthy and to tack on minutes of physical activity.  Consider swimming laps, playing volleyball, or running or jogging in the pool to keep your kids active while having fun.
  3. What on earth is Capoeira?  It is a martial arts program and is safe and fun for kids of all ages.  This style of exercise helps your kids learn discipline and learn to overcome matters in a constructive manner, all while learning martial arts.  Pretty cool exercise huh?
  4. Ok so this may sound pretty basic, but how many parents do you know who say they just let their kids run around all day?  Easier said than done to just have them running aimlessly.  Take it a step further and have your kids in an organized and constructive running program with a team or as a lightly competitive event.  Some communities have kid runs that have foam and other props, so take this time to get them involved in their first 5k or mile run.  Have them run outdoors two to three times per week and start with what they are able to do and work the time up to about an hour.
  5. Yoga is all about embracing your inner awareness with your breath.  When the body embraces the breath, the nerves can calm and the body becomes renewed.  Some kids nowadays experience high levels of stress with pressures to succeed at a young age.  What better exercise for them to do than to free their minds and listen to their breath?  Have them complete yoga classes two to three times per week after school is out to help free the mind.
  6. Developing muscular strength is important for children and the legs are where it starts.  Start out with no added weight to help teach the movement of the squat.  Once they develop sound technique, slowly add the weight on and take caution on how much is added.  Keep it light and take more time to progress than how you normally would.  Start with two-three sets of 10 reps of body weight squats until they are ready for slightly more weight.
  7. Shuffle Side Steps with a Medicine ball. This is something that will add leg strength and will develop coordination.  Start with a side shuffle in one direction for about 10 yards or so.  They should hold the medicine ball at waist level for added core strength.  If they play any sports such as soccer or football, consider swapping the medicine ball for a soccer ball or football, and have them complete some ball skills.  Switch directions and repeat for a total of about three minutes.
  8. Core strength can be an issue for children these days because of the amount of screen time.  With all the sitting during screen time, the core muscles have little room to develop and usually they don’t develop in the manner they should.  Consider having your kids perform planks three times per week, holding each plank for about 20-30 seconds for a total of three sets.  If this is too much to start with, consider 5-10 seconds and work the time up.
  9. Push-Ups. This is something that will help their confidence, as this is a typical exercise performed in many physical education classes for standardized testing.  Having them practice push-ups in their leisure time will have your kids atop of the class and it will have them feeling amazing.  Start with as many as they can do at once and have them do three sets.  Work your way up with reps every two to three weeks as they progress.
  10. Curl-Ups. Similar as above, this is another exercise on standardized physical assessments in schools.  A curl-up is just another way to say crunch.  The idea is that your kid (and you) should only lift the shoulders off the ground so they create no more than a 30 degree bend in the spine.  This is the most effective way to complete a crunch to develop the abdominal muscles.  Perform these on the same day as push-ups and complete three sets of as many as they can do.



[1] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw22.htm

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, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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