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Aerobic Exercise for Kids

By Tina Rideout

How much aerobic exercise does your child get on a weekly basis? Well it could be a lot more than you think. Children have fun with aerobic exercise on a daily basis while in the playground at meal and break times. However this should not be your child's only source of physical activity, as they need regular exercise to keep them healthy.  

Research and numerous studies have put the amount of time needed for exercise at between 40 and 90 minutes daily. Most have settled on an average of 60 minutes as the recommended guideline amount for daily physical exercise. It is also shown that children who actively participate in physical exercise at a younger age tend to carry this through to adulthood.  

Making exercise fun is a great way of encouraging your children to get active. Aim to be a positive role model by involving the whole family in activities that you can all enjoy together. Aerobic exercise is perfect for adults as well as children, as it gives the body a great cardio workout. Keeping your child’s body healthy will also help to keep their minds focused and upbeat.  

Walking is a great way to begin your new exercise regime. Whether you just change your routine and walk to and from school or get geared up at the weekends for long hikes on the hills. Up the tempo when you walk by brisk walking or jogging, maybe a bit of running if you feel up to it! Play games with your children by shouting "First one to the big tree at the end" and sprinting off into the distance. When you look behind you, they will be chasing you with a big smile on their faces. Cycling is a low impact exercise that is fine for children of any age, as it supports the body leading to good posture. As well as being an aerobic exercise, cycling is also a great strength builder. Vary the school run by cycling instead of walking, this will help to break the monotony of the same daily routine. When cycling always remember that you and your family should wear well fitting cycle helmets for your own safety.  

Swimming is a great all rounder that the whole family can enjoy. You can make "proper swimming" more fun by challenging your children to races to see who can do the fastest lengths. Playing games is much more tiring in the pool and is a great way to boost your child’s fitness. Regular games such as water polo are great fun but have you ever tried playing tag in a swimming pool? Just playing games in the park or back garden is great fun and just as healthy. Kicking a football around or playing bat and ball is great aerobic activity. Involving the whole family or your child’s friends will make exercise a fun experience. This feeling of happiness and togetherness will help to boost your child’s interest in aerobic exercise.

Written by Tina Rideout and David O'Sullivan. Creators of Team NuTraFun. For more information visit them at We Make Healthy Eating for Kids Fun.

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