Finding the right fitness games for kids is really important if you want to get them off of their devices and moving. Childhood obesity is a significant problem in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of kids and teens affected by childhood obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Frighteningly, one out of every five children is obese.
Doctors say that lack of physical activity is one of the biggest reasons for this epidemic. The CDC recommends that in order to combat it, kids eat well and “get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.”
It’s incredibly important that they get this exercise in, especially when you consider the ramifications of obesity. According to the CDC, children with obesity have a higher risk of asthma, sleep apnea, diabetes and heart problems. Additionally, childhood obesity can lead to depression and low self-esteem. Finally, an unhealthy child is far more likely to be an obese adult.
Fitness Games for Kids
Children are a lot different than adults when it comes to exercise. We can go to the gym and just huff through our workouts just because we know it is better for us. Kids have to be entertained. If you stick a child on a treadmill, they are probably going to hate it after the novelty wears off. That’s because their only concern is having fun. This is where fitness games for kids come into play.
If you introduce some youth games to your kids, it will get them moving. This even works for teenagers who aren’t particularly thrilled about leaving the house. The goal is to make their fitness routine so enjoyable they forget they are exercising. The following is a list of fitness games for kids of all ages.
Outside games for kids
One of the best ways to get your kids out of the house and active is by making the exercises competitive. Children absolutely love to compete with adults and peers alike. You could even provide little prizes for young children.
A great idea for fitness games for kids of all ages is swimming. You can sign your children up for a competitive swim team at a recreation center or take them yourself. If you compete with your children by yourself, be sure to teach them various ways of swimming to work more muscles.
In addition, you can have crab races with your children. Here is an instructional video on how to do a crab walk:
Jumping roping is another of the fun fitness games for kids. You and your child can compete to see who can jump rope the longest. if they have regular jump roping down to a science, teach them how to do some jump rope tricks to make it more entertaining.
Further, you can play catch with your kids. Make it an even better workout by playing it while you are walking around or even jumping. Your munchkin might even enjoy playing dodgeball with you. Just be careful, sometimes kids do not know their own strength.
Kickball is another entertaining and competitive game for children. Organize a weekly game with all of the youths in your neighborhood. Then, on Saturday morning, fill up kiddy pools with water balloons and let the kids chase each other around.
Finally, hide-n-seek is a fun fitness game. You can play this in a large or small area. While you can play it indoors, we recommend you do it outside so the tiny humans do not break your belongings by accident.
Gym games for your kids
Sometimes, the weather will not permit you to play outside with your children. When that happens, you’re going to have to bring your fitness games for kids indoors. You can either play in your home or in a gym. If you are in a gym with equipment, tug of war is a great game to build upper body strength. Also, you can compete with your kid by doing planks. Just make sure when you are planking, that they have the right form. Watch this video to learn how to properly plank:
You can also mix it up and do squats and wall sits. Again, when you do these exercises, you want to make sure your child is using the correct form. Getting the form down will not only prevent injuries, but it will also make sure the exercise is effective. Make both of these a competition, so they are more enjoyable for your child. The winner of the game can decide what you are going to do next.
Yoga is also one of the fun fitness games for children and adults. The kids might like this because they can improve flexibility.
Finally, you can teach your child how to walk on their hands or stand on their head. When you do this though, you want to make sure you are spotting them. If you do not spot them, they could fall down and hurt themselves. The last thing you want is for them to be injured while they are trying to have a good time with their fitness games for kids.
Running games for kids
Most kids love to run around. This is great because it helps strengthen the heart and lungs. Make running fun for your kids by turning it into a game. For instance, you can race them around your block. Make the loser of the race do jumping jacks or something. You can also enroll in a local marathon. This teaches them that running can be fun and the money can go to a good cause.
Additionally, you can play tag with your kids. Just beware, kids can be crazy competitive when they play tag and you will probably be it most of the time.
Games for teenagers
Getting your teenagers out of the house to workout can be a little bit trickier than it is for younger kids. However, teens are just as competitive as small humans. You can play all of the fitness games for kids that we mentioned above and also enroll your teens in sports teams. Workout games are a lot more fun for teenagers when they are playing against other teens. Most towns have football, soccer and baseball teams for youths.
If they are opposed to playing on a team, you can take them out jogging with you. Also, you can set up obstacle courses teenagers. Finally, you can join a gym with your teen. They might actually enjoy running on the treadmill and lifting weights. Plus, most gyms come with affordable trainers who can work with your teenagers. Have a conversation with your older child and see what they want to do. They tend to be more receptive when they feel as if they have a voice.
Get Those Kids Moving
Whatever fitness games for kids you decide to play, just remember to keep it fun. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely they are to stick to it. Also, if you start exercising with them when they are young, it’s probable that they will carry that with them as they age.
Featured image: CC0, by fishisdiane, via Pixabay