Indoor Fitness for Kids
Guest Post from DietsinReview
For the Colder Months Ahead!
My daughter has been “active” since the womb. In my second trimester I enrolled in a prenatal yoga class and I attended every week until she was born. I credit yoga with helping me have a better pregnancy and a smooth delivery. But I like to think it instilled in her a healthy appetite for being active.
When she was days old, I’d put her in the stroller and head out for a half-mile walk, and as I recovered a one-mile walk. Soon she was going on multi-mile runs with me as a I prepared for a half-marathon. Today, we wake up early for long walks or runs together. In fact, just this morning, we didn’t take the stroller and she ran a full half mile without stopping.
It pains me to know that fall means we’re starting a season of cabin fever. Very soon it will be much too cold for our walks and runs and we’ll be relegated to the indoors until spring. It doesn’t mean my daughter has to hibernate her active muscles between now and then, if anything it’s a perfectly good excuse to turn her on to some new activities. And the same goes for your kiddo, too!
Last winter, when she was 18-months, we found a tiny tot gymnastics class. She still likes “to do my balance beam,” and walks along the curb. In other words, she loved it and we’ll be taking her again. The class of both girls and boys (yes, boys accompanied by their dads) flipped, climbed, crawled, jumped, and burned off enough energy to sleep soundly that night!
It’s like summer in the winter when you dip in to a heated pool while it’s snowing outside! This is good exercise and bonding time for the tot and the parent, as you almost always have to accompany them in to the water. Not only is your little fish working his growing bones, muscles, and mind too, but he’ll be more confident (meaning safer) when pool season starts again.
Many studios offer mommy-and-me yoga classes in the mornings or afternoons. The poses and sequences are done with their tiny bodies in mind. Amongst the many reasons kids should do yoga, they learn to control their breathing and ultimately feel more control for themselves. This can be powerful for children with ADHD or other developmental concerns.
Zumba and Dance
Yes, the Latin-dance fitness craze loved by everyone from your neighbor to your grandma is also fun for kids. More ideal for older, school-aged children, Zumbatomic, its formal name, teaches kids coordination, muscle memory, and improved motor skills. A more traditional tap or ballet class would also keep them busy on cold, winter nights while learning independence and developing a skill that may turn in to a talent.
Karate or Martial Arts
There are a host of martial arts classes that kids can participate in from very young ages. The mental focus and physical agility required of young karate or muay thai students prepares them for so much in life, from homework and testing to handling social situations. As well, it instills a love of fitness for life.
Through school programs or local gyms, like the YMCA, basketball teams form and play all winter long. Boys and girls will learn teamwork, confidence, while strengthening their bodies and learning the value fitness can play in all our lives.