Childhood obesity is rising as budgets for school exercise programs are shrinking. Eating large amounts of fast food combined with getting little exercise is putting children at risk for obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Concerned parents can help their children exercise by setting aside time each day for fun activities. The Mayo Clinic states that one of the best strategies for curbing childhood obesity involves engaging the entire family in healthier habits. Set a good example by eating healthy and replacing television watching with activities like hiking and biking.
Planning Weight Loss Exercises for Kids
Weight loss exercises for kids should be lively and fun. Keep changing the activity so that it does not get monotonous for your child.
Exercise programs chosen should suit the temperament of the child. He should not be pressurized into doing something he is not interested in. For example, if he likes team sports, encourage him to play basketball, baseball or soccer. But if he prefers to be on his own, include individual activities like walking and jogging in his routine.
Weight loss exercises for kids should be combined with a nutritious diet in order to achieve the best results. Include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and fiber rich foods in his diet. Avoid soft drinks or diet sodas, instead make him shift to low fat milk. Consumption of processed foods and other high calorie foods like ice creams and chocolates should be in limit as they lead to childhood obesity. If possible, provide the kids with food prepared at home.
Motivation is the key to achieve good results. Following a particular weight loss program and then maintaining it, needs a lot of motivation. Compliment your child in front of friends, relatives and teachers. Appreciation is a big source of motivation for kids.
Make the activities competitive. Put up a chart with your kid’s name and the amount of time he needs to spend on exercising on that particular day. If he exercises more than the target set for the day, write the extra time on the chart. When he collects one extra hour of exercising, reward him by taking him out for a movie or a soccer game. Remember, if a child is made to compete with himself rather than with others, his focus remains on self improvement rather than shifting to petty jealousies.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle Yourself
Make exercising an integral part of your family time. Children follow the eating habits of their parents. So eat healthy yourself.
Weight loss Exercises for Kids
- Regular activities like walking, running, jogging and skipping can be made into fun activities and included in your kid’s daily exercise regime. Take your kid to a nearby park. Assign signals to each activity like one clap for running, two claps for jogging, whistle for jumping. Give a particular command and the kid has to do the corresponding activity. Change signs every 2 days.
- Let your child create his own game or dance routine. The entire family can participate in it. This way the family works out together thus, helping the kid to remain involved and enjoy his workout session without getting distracted.
- Ever thought watching TV can be a weight loss exercise for kids? Well it can be. During the commercial breaks, plan a treasure hunt for him. Leave clues for him in various corners of the house. In the end, if he is successful, he gets an ice cream or a chocolate or his favorite dish. But remember to keep the portion size small.
- Trampoline is fun and the kids love it. Put one in the backyard and if space is a constraint, use a mini trampoline which can be easily adjusted in the house. Children can bounce, jog and run on it to lose weight. For more information read mini trampoline exercises.
- In addition to the regular sports like baseball and basketball, activities like rope jumping, Frisbee, ball catching are very effective weight loss exercises for kids. They can be conducted on alternate days so that it does not get tiresome or monotonous.
- Kids who don’t like sports can be made to learn a dance form, aerobic exercises or martial arts. These too, are weight loss exercises for overweight children.
Yoga as a Weight Loss Exercise for Kids
Yoga increases flexibility, improves concentration and at the same time reduces stress. Different animal postures are among the best weight loss yoga exercises for kids. The kids can pose as a butterfly by sitting on their butt, their knees bend , joining the soles of their feet, and moving the knees up and down. They can also practice the cobra posture by lying on their stomachs, their hands on the ground under their chests and lifting the upper body till the hips and lowering it again to the ground alternatively. Visualization is another weight loss yoga exercise for kids. Ask the child to close his eyes and visualize that the fat in his body has turned into a bird and is now flying away from him. Visualization prepares the kids for weight loss.
Weight Loss Workouts for Kids
These workouts can also be prepared along the lines of adult weight loss programs. However, weight training should be avoided as it can cause injury. The workout should always begin with warm up exercises like walking, followed by stretching. Cardiovascular exercises like aerobics and jogging on the spot should be conducted for at least 15 minutes. After that, exercises which strengthen the muscles should be carried out.
Remember to exercise only one body part everyday. Plan leg exercises, abdominal exercises, and back exercises on separate days. For strengthening leg muscles squats and step ups, for arm muscles punching the air and pull ups, for abdominal muscles crunches and for back muscles, back extensions should be included in the weight loss exercises for kids.