Exercises for children
What are the benefits of exercise for children's health? We recommend these easy exercises as part of the afternoon's fun with the little ones.
During this period of confinement, children not only need to exercise their bodies - they also need a variety of distractions and to have as much fun as possible. They need to 'burn' energy that, under normal conditions, they would be using at school and in extracurricular activities.
The physical benefits of playing a sport at any stage of life are well known, but whilst we are growing it is vital: it strengthens bones, improves growth, promotes sleep and protects the immune system.
Thanks to new technologies it's easier than ever to exercise with children without going outside. Although we can also draw on the imagination.
Fun suggestions for doing exercise with children
Children under 5 years old
- Jump around: Jumping will help children develop their muscles and improve balance and coordination. You can create small circuits so the little ones in the house get jumping, using their own toys to mark out the space and design a circuit to follow.
- Let's dance: dancing is an activity to be encouraged in children since it is a cardiovascular activity that favours motor skills, coordination, concentration and memory. So, there you have it! All you have to do is put on some music for the kids to start moving.
- Walking and running with animals: the little ones are sure to have a variety of stuffed animals. The idea is to take one at a time and make a round-trip along the corridor or perform a circuit around the most spacious room you have, imitating the way in which each animal walks: penguin, lion, elephant, mouse, kangaroo, frog... Next, repeat the same action, but running. For this exercise, we suggest an adult performs the movement first so that the children can then imitate it. They'll have a great time!
- The toy-eater: we need two buckets or bins, one for you at one end of the corridor and the other for the child at the other end. In the middle of the hall we put plenty of toys and balls. Explain to the child that you are both toy-eating monsters and that we have to get the toys to our kitchen cupboards (the buckets) as quickly as possible. The player with the most toys in his bucket in a minute wins. For this exercise, the adult's monster should be slow and clumsy when it comes to fetching the toys and the child should be encouraged to do it running.
- Obstacle course: we prepare the living room or another room as if it were an obstacle course with toys spread around, a tunnel made from chairs put together so that the child has to crawl underneath, cushions on the floor to mark out a slalom and tennis balls to be jumped over. The child must save their toys, by crossing the circuit to get one toy at a time and returning to the beginning.
Children aged 5+
-Stretching and yoga: yoga aids concentration, balance, elasticity and physical health. Children will learn to breathe calmly and soothe their nervous system. These exercises are intended for older children.
- Zumba: zumba combines different dance movements with aerobic exercise routines, to improve flexibility, release tension and burn calories. Ideally, you should do it alongside your children. In addition, music really hooks children in.
- Practice balancing: these exercises are good for both children and adults, as they help prevent falls and keep hips supple. Examples include, swinging one leg back and forth and then changing legs, jumping on one leg doing the heron pose, doing squats on tiptoe... Do 15 repetitions each time.
- Squats: they are very easy to practise, since you do not need much space or any equipment. Just a bit of motivation. They help to keep the legs strong and are also beneficial for the abs and balance.
- Exercises for children: that will help them correct body posture, develop a sense of rhythm and strengthen muscles. It is important to warm up gently beforehand and do some stretching when the exercises are finished.
You will find many resources on the Internet, some with video tutorials, to help you practise all these exercises - keeping adults and children alike in shape until the State of Emergency passes and we can go outside.