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Exercising with Small Children

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 13 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Children Exercise Small Children

Exercising with small children has plenty of challenges but also brings its own rewards. Added to this is the fact that if your children start exercising at a young age, it will come naturally to them and they will be more inclined to carry on with their exercise as they get older. This is, of course, to say nothing of the health benefits to even the smallest children who are getting plenty of exercise.

Where To Start

The best place to start exercising with young children is a gentle one. The ideal thing to do is build it into your daily routine. So starting to walk them to school every morning and walk them home again is the perfect way to begin. You could also build in other activities into their everyday lives, such as going out to walk the dog when they get home from school. If you do not have a dog, you could take them out on their bikes to the local park. And of course, the other benefit of doing this is that you get to have a little exercise as well.

Moving OnWhen you have started to introduce your children to the idea of some exercise, you can begin to get them involved in other activities, no matter how young they are. But be careful that they enjoy the activities that you choose for them as well. If they love watching the football on TV, then take them along to a junior football club. Many of these have under ten, nine, eight and even seven teams that your youngsters can play for, alongside other children of the same age. They may enjoy splashing around in the pool when you are on holiday – so why not see if the local pool which gives swimming lessons also has a swimming club. Perhaps you are worried about how they will defend themselves when they get older – a martial arts club may be the route to go down. But whichever sport or form of exercise you and they choose, try and make sure there is a dedicated coach and training for children of their age.

Less Structured Activity

You may feel that your child is not ready or suitable for such structured sport or activity. But there is still plenty that you can do with them to make sure they are having plenty of exercise. Spending an afternoon in the park on the swings and slides may not seem like too much exercise but an energetic youngster will soon burn off plenty of energy running around and playing with youngsters. But you can also do things which will see you exercise together, like bike riding or swimming. If they see mum and dad enjoy exercise, they will soon start to enjoy it too.

Small children do not have to exempt from exercise. They can gain as much enjoyment from it as anyone else. The key thing to remember is not to rush them or force them into doing something they do not want to do. The memories of sport and exercise they have now will stay with them forever, so make sure that these are positive ones which encourage them to keep up their good habits well into adulthood.

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