How to get your kids interested in physical fitness

When getting kids involved in a fitness program, one important factor is that it should be fun as well as safe. This can be done with a group of children, one on one with a parent or trainer, or with a buddy.

A fun idea would be to arrange a "fitness play date" with a few friends. Parents, feel free to join in, it will keep you young at heart, so have some fun and set a good example for your kids by having fun and keeping fit as a family. Safety is always number one so if you are not sure how to perform any of the following exercises, please be sure to seek the help of a qualified fitness professional.

Side Plank/Plank Combo: Start in a side plank, hold for 5-10 seconds, move to plank, hold for 5-10 seconds, move to side plank on the other side, hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 2-4 times for a complete set.

Single Leg Ball Toss: Play catch while standing on one foot. See who can balance the longest without putting their foot down.

Frog Jumps: Squat down and jump up, when you land you want to stabilize yourself before jumping again. Jump in all different directions.

Frontal Jumps: Use a piece of masking tape to mark the floor or chalk if you are outside. Jump forward over the line. You can even stack things up like small pillows or piles of snow if you're outside to add to the challenge by jumping over obstacles of different heights.

Push ups: See who can do the most, either from the knees or standard.

Partner Pull Ups: One child sits on the floor while the other child pulls them up. Repeat 8-12 times for each arm.

Partner Wall Sits: Two children of similar height stand back to back. Step your feet out in front of you a foot or two and squat against each other to about the height of a chair. See who can hold it the longest. This can also be done against a wall.

Relays: Pick 3-4 different events Example: Bear Crawl > Crab Crawl > Skip > Sprint.

To get a youth fitness program started for your school, group, or family, feel free to contact me.

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached at corinna@adkbikeranch.com or 605-3549. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.

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