Kickstarting an Active Lifestyle For Kids
Author: Lauren Hunsberger | Posted In: Move | August 2022
Getting kids into fitness—especially at first—can be challenging. They might think it’s boring, intimidating or way too complicated. However, it’s proven that the earlier you get kids moving, the better chance they have of maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. Organized sports are the most common ways kids are introduced to fitness, but it doesn’t have to be the only way.
Our Bellevue Club fitness experts crafted a conditioning class specifically designed for kids ages 8 to 15. The goal is to introduce basic strength, agility and power movements for those in sports or not. Here are a few ways the class can help your children:
Sense of Discipline
“Taking a class helps kids see the value of taking direction from a leader or teacher, plus they see the benefits of consistency and showing up to practice a skill,” says Scott Stone, Bellevue Club Recreation Director. “Both of these contribute to a healthy sense of discipline.”
For many kids, sports or going to the gym can be nerve-wracking at first. They might not know how to use the equipment or perform certain exercises. “This gives kids an opportunity to learn new things and move their bodies in a safe, non-judgmental environment,” says Lindsay Exley, Bellevue Club Fitness Director.
Even though there is no scorekeeping in this class, the kids will bond in a team-like way. “They are all trying to achieve a common goal and end up giving a lot of encouragement to each other,” says Stone. They also learn how to overcome challenges together.
Agility, Power and Athletic Performance
This class isn’t sport-specific, so it can help both athletes and non-athletes. “The participants will learn body-weight exercises and basic power and agility movements, like jumping and running,” Exley says. “The class is small enough that the instructor can tailor the program to the needs of the kids.”
Why You Should Plan to Play
1. Academic Performance
– Improves attention and memory
2. Brain Health
– Reduces risk of depression
3. Muscular Fitness
– Builds strong muscles and endurance
4. Heart and Lung Health
– Improves blood pressure and aerobic fitness
5 .Cardiometabolic Health
– Helps maintain normal blood sugar levels
6. Long-term Health
– Reduces risk of several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity
7. Bone Strength
– Strengthens bones
8. Healthy Weight
– Helps regulate body weight and reduce body fat
Different Types of Play
The CDC currently recommends 60 minutes of physical activity a day for children 6 to 17. They break up activity into the following three distinct categories:
1. Aerobic activity:
Most of the daily 60 minutes should include activities like walking, running, or anything that makes their hearts beat faster. At least 3 days a week should include vigorous-intensity activities.
Includes activities like climbing or doing push-ups, at least 3 days per week.
Includes activities such as jumping or running, at least 3 days per week