Fit Kids AreHappy Kids!

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Working out is not just good for us big kids…. it’s great for the littlies too! Erin Yarwood shares her tips for happy and healthy kids.

Active kids are happier… healthier…. they’re better coordinated and remain more focused at school, just to name a few benefits. Needless to say, there are the fitter, stronger and more flexible bits too.

I think the stigma around kids doing “strength training” tends to worry and confuse some parents, especially with children who are still growing. Many parents hesitate, believing that working out will only cause their kids harm. But it’s the complete opposite.

If light weights are used and proper form is taught, strength training, (along with cardio, core work and stretching), is beneficial for kids of all ages. And there are plenty of body weight exercises out there too, so using weights is not even essential.

With obesity on the rise with the younger generation we really need to reinforce the importance of movement with kids. Simple activities like playing sports, walking the dog, dancing, going to the gym with you or even just throwing the ball to the dog.

If Mum and Dad are doing it, you’re not only helping to motivate your kids, but you’re also benefiting from it at the same time. Win-win.

I have run quite a few KidFit classes, with majority of my mini clients being the children of my adult clients. And they absolutely love it. I do too!

The key with kids is to keep things interesting. Offer lots of variety – and make sure it’s both stimulating for the body and the mind. It’s all about balance.

It’s so nice that every time I see kids who have participated in my programs they beg me when the next one will be. That’s a real plus for me, knowing that they’re keen for more.

As we all know, strength training is designed to help build our muscles and get us nice and strong. But we can also use strength training for toning and general upkeep of fitness, and that is all we need to focus on with kids. Using lighter weights and higher repetitions, there is no stress on the joints or the muscles, and the repetition triggers muscle memory.

Cardio is great to get the heart pumping and work up a sweat. It’s also a lot of fun for kids, especially with all of that energy to burn! Things like skipping, sprinting and boxing are just a couple of really fun and highly beneficial exercises that come to mind. Plus, kids love it!

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is another great way to pick the heart rate up, and fast. Just using short bursts of high intensity exercises, HIIT is excellent for coordination, speed, agility and power.

I can’t stress highly enough how important working your core is, and there’s no better time to start ingraining this important tool than when you’re little. I work with so many adults who either don’t know how to engage their core or do it incorrectly. Purely due to the fact that they didn’t know about the core until later in life or were taught it wrong to begin with. If kids can learn to engage their core it will benefit them in so many ways.

Stretching is a great way to relax and release muscles that have been worked, and to also help avoid injury. It also teaches kids body awareness by learning what muscles are worked with each exercise and therefore which muscles need to be stretched.

Having a two-year-old who can already work her way around the iPad better than her Mum, (and is in love with Bluey and Peppa Pig) I can already see for myself how technology can really take over with kids and can, in turn, make them become inactive.

I believe it is all about balance and purely encouraging them to be outside more. Move more and leave the inevitable screen time for scheduled intervals throughout the day. Staying active, eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle is
important for everyone, including the littlies. The best way to forge a healthy pattern in our life is right from the beginning!

About the Author /

For over a decade, Erin has been putting people through their paces and encouraging them to be the best they can be, while keeping a healthy and active lifestyle – and having fun! She specialises in personal training and teaches a vast range of fitness classes out of E-Fitness – her vibrant, fun and welcoming personalised fitness studio in Cooroy where her one-year-old daughter, Aluna provides a welcome distraction.

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