Make sure to stretch each part of your body and follow the guide below:
Once you’ve stretched and loosened your muscles, it’s time to exercise! You may modify the exercises below if necessary to suit your particular circumstances. Increase or decrease the number of repetitions according to the children’s particular needs and physical ability. When you first start these exercises, correct form is more important than speed. After you become familiar with them, you may increase the speed at which you perform them. Check out some Chipper songs to get motivated to MOVE! Dance is another great way to workout with the kids while having fun!
Most of them are considered cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises as well as strength building (anaerobic) exercises. They will also help you develop balance, coordination and agility. These exercises can be performed just about anywhere with little effort. Correct supervision is a NECESSITY, and SAFETY is the primary concern. Just take it slow and increase speed as you go!
EXERCISE 1: Jumping Jacks
Straighten body with arms at sides, then jump while spreading legs and arms apart. Then repeat! Once you and your little one(s) get good, try choosing a fun song and jump to the beat. Chipper’s Into the Great Outdoors CD has an array of fun tunes to listen to. Count as you go and see how high you can get!
EXERCISE 2: Slalom Jump
While standing straight up with your feet together, squat down about half way, leaning slightly forward. Put your left arm in front of you and your right arm in back (running position). Lean and jump to the right while swinging your arms in the opposite position and keeping your feet together.
You should now be to the right of your original starting position with your right arm in front of you, your left arm in back and your feet together with your knees bent in a crouched position.
Now lean and jump back to your original position while swinging your arms back to their original position. (when you become comfortable with these exercises, you may increase their effectiveness by adding ankle and wrist weights (1-3 lbs.) when performing them). Perform 2 sets of 15-20 reps or whatever you feel comfortable with. Remember, you don’t want to over do it! Listen to your body as you go.
EXERCISE 3: Trunk Rotations
From a straight standing position with your hands on your hips, rotate your upper body as far as possible in each direction. This exercise should be done with a smooth even motion. Do not rotate fast or jerk your body but have fun! Perform 2 sets of 15-20 reps.
All exercises labelled above incorporate both cardiovascular (aerobic) and strength (anaerobic) work which involves most of the time “whole body” exercises that encourage the children to train their sense of balance and coordination which are integral in the progressive development of a child’s physiological systems.
Health benefits can be derived simply from becoming more physically active, but the greatest benefits come from engaging in planned and structured exercise. Cardiovascular risk factors can be reduced and physical fitness enhanced with low to moderate levels of physical activity (40-60% of a person’s maximal aerobic capacity) (Blair & Connelly, 1996).
And, low- to moderate-intensity activity is less likely than vigorous exercise to cause musculoskeletal injury and sudden heart attack death during exercise (a very rare occurrence even for vigorous exercisers), while it is more likely to promote continued adherence to activity (Blair & Connelly, 1996; NIH, 1995).
Current recommendations state that children and adolescents should strive for at least 30 minutes daily of moderate intensity physical activity (Pate, Pratt et al., 1995). They may be getting this at school but an extra walk around the block each day helps you AND your child!
An alternate approach that may be equally beneficial would be to engage in 5- (Blair & Connelly, 1996) to 10-minute (NIH, 1995) bouts of moderate intensity activity throughout the day, for a total accumulation of at least 30 minutes for adolescents and adults and 60 minutes for children (Pangrazi, Corbin, & Welk, 1996).
Walking briskly or biking for pleasure or transportation, swimming, engaging in sports and games, participating in physical education, and doing tasks in the home and garden may all contribute to accumulated physical activity. Not to mention ,spending just 10 minutes a day outside increases attention span and lowers stress!
All things aside, at the end of the day, all a child wants to do is to have FUN! They want to be constantly stimulated from one day to the next. Their minds are always shifting from one thing to the next, so when provided with all the variables, the best workout needs to be designed specifically and especially for their needs. Getting active with them everyday help them form healthy habits for their entire life so Let’s Go Chipper for Healthy Habits! Find more Healthy Chipper Activities to try here or share some of your with us!