Meta Description: For healthy growth of children & adolescents, physical exercise is important. Children should follow a set of exercises regularly to stay active.
Article Summary: In this article, we will provide 10 interesting and effective exercises for children & adolescents to lose weight and stay healthy.
For healthy growth of children and adolescents, physical activities including exercises, strength training, walking, and running are essential. To help children and adolescents develop lifetime habits, a healthy lifestyle must start early in their lives. Exercise has many benefits for every age group especially for children and adolescents such as:
- It develops strong bones in children and adolescents.
- The lungs and heart remain healthy.
- The body becomes more flexible by exercising.
- It reduces obesity in children, adolescents, and adults.
- Exercise lowers the risk of various diseases and health issues.
- It can also boost your self-esteem and confidence.
- Research shows that exercise improves your mood.
- Children will be more active in school after regular exercise.
- The more they will do exercises, the more active they will become.
Exercises for Children & Adolescents
Here are the exercises that will help your children to get in shape.
What it is: Burpee or Squat Thrust is a full-body strength training exercise. You can also call it an aerobic exercise. It involves your full body thus beneficial for all the body muscles. There are four steps of a burpee known as four-count burpee.
How to do: Here are the steps to perform a burpee:
- Stand straight on the ground.
- Now squat down, place both of your hands on the ground, and lay down on the ground in a plank position.
- The next step is doing a push up in the same position.
- Regain your plank position after push up and stand up again.
How many: It depends on your stamina and weight as well. More obese children or adolescents may not perform more than five burpees. Starting from five burpees and gradually increasing is beneficial.
2. Bench step-ups
What it is: Bench step-ups are body resistance exercises that are helpful for the legs and buttocks muscles. It targets the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteal muscles in the legs & buttocks. Generally, this exercise is good to lose fat from the lower body. It is very beneficial for young children because it controls and smoothes the movements of your legs.
How to do: Here are the steps to perform a Bench step-up:
- First, you have to step your right foot on a low bench. Then add in the left one too.
- Now step down from the bench.
- Repeat the set with switching sides.
How many: Again it depends on your body weight and your level of exercise. If you are a beginner then start from a set of 10 bench step-ups. You can gradually increase this.
3. Walk & Run
What it is: We all know about walking and running. Both of these exercises involve the full body and help losing weight. It is also beneficial in the development of bones, especially in young children.
How to do: Here are the steps to follow for this mixed exercise:
- You have to walk for 2 minutes at a normal speed.
- After 2 minutes, start running. Continue running for 30 seconds.
- Stop running and start walking again for 2 minutes.
- Repeat this for 30 minutes.
How many: You have to continue walking and running for 30 minutes. However, after some days, keep increasing the running time until it reaches 1 minute. You can also increase the overall exercise time to 45 minutes or one hour.
Note: This exercise is best for young children and adolescents because it is easy. You can make it a fun activity by joining your children in this exercise.
4. Calf Raises
What it is: Calf raises are performed for strengthening legs. It also improves lower body performance. The children who perform calf raises can run for a longer time.
How to do it: Here are the steps of performing calf raises:
- Stand straight.
- Lift up onto your toes and hold this position.
- After a few seconds, lower it.
- Repeat the exercise.
How many: Start from 15-20 calf-raises and gradually increase.
5. Jumping Jacks
What it is: Jumping jacks is a total-body workout which can be performed anywhere. This exercise is a fun exercise for children and adolescents as you have to jump up and down. Additionally, it works your lungs, heart, and muscles at the same time.
How to do: Here are the steps to perform jumping jacks:
- Stand straight. Now, stretch your arms and legs to sides.
- Now jump in this position.
- Return legs to the center and arms to the closed position when closing a jumping jack.
How many: Start with 3 sets of 10 jumping jacks. Children may find it fun, so gradually increase the repetitions in each set.
6. Jumping Rope
What it is: Jumping Rope is also a total-body workout which is beneficial in losing excessive weight. This exercise uses your abdominal muscles to stabilize your body. The legs muscles are involved in jumping while the arms & shoulders muscles work during turning the rope. The overall exercise improves focus, stamina, and coordination of your body.
How to do: Here are the steps to perform jumping ropes:
- Stand straight. Hold the rope in your hands with the middle of the rope lying on the ground in front of your feet.
- Now jump over the rope.
- Whip the rope over your head from back to front in a circular pattern.
- Repeat with fluid transitions.
How many: Start with 3 sets of 20. Children may find it fun, so gradually increase the repetitions in each set.
Note: Some children may not be able to skip the rope and find it difficult. You can guide them to act like using an imaginary rope and moving their arms accordingly while jumping. It is also beneficial and it saves your child from injury during exercise.
7. Bridges/ Lying butt lifts
What it is: Glute Bridges or lifts work well for abdomen and buttocks fat. It also improves the muscles of the lower back and the spine.
How to do: Here are the steps to perform Bridges:
- Lay down on a yoga mat and place your arms on your sides.
- Bend your knees and keep the feet apart.
- Slowly raise your hips upward while bending your knees.
- Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Return to your normal lying position slowly.
How many: Start with 3 sets of 5. You can increase gradually.
What it is: Planks are a very effective exercise to target full body muscles. The exercise works out the abs, core, and back muscles. Children can do it easily because of their flexible bodies. It helps to shape the belly, eliminate back pain, improve posture, and enhance muscle flexibility.
How to do: Here are the steps to perform a Plank:
- Lay down on your stomach and place your forearms on the ground.
- Keep a distance of shoulder-width between your arms.
- Keep your neck and head in line with the back.
- Now, slightly lift your body on your tiptoes and arms.
- Hold this position while your bodyweight will be balanced between the toes and forearms.
- Come back to the normal position after 20 seconds.
How many: Start with 3 sets 5. You can increase it gradually.
What it is: Cycling is the easiest body workout especially for children and adolescents. The benefits of cycling are enhanced joint mobility, weight loss, and strengthening of legs muscles.
How to do: Here are the steps for cycling:
- Find a location for cycling.
- Dress your child in appropriate protective gear.
- Make sure your child has a water bottle to keep hydrated.
How many: Start with 30 minutes cycling and gradually increase.
Note: You can pair other children with your child and make it a group activity for them.
What it is: Crunches are an excellent body workout. They improve core strength, flexibility of the torso, and abdominal muscles.
How to do: Here are the steps of performing crunches:
- Lay down on the ground and keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Bend your knees.
- Put your hands behind your ears.
- Now move slightly upwards by tilting your chin.
- Hold it for some time and come back to normal position.
- Repeat it.
How many: Start with 3 sets of 5 repetitions in each. You can gradually increase.
In this article, we provided ten important exercises to lose weight for children and adolescents. Parents can make a schedule for their children and alternate these exercises in a workout session. They can also join in to make it fun for their children. You can also add more exercises in this routine. Following these exercises will ensure the health of your children and adolescents.