You don’t need a gym to get a great workout. Using your own bodyweight is just effective and often has better benefits. The best thing about using your body weight is that they work lots of little tiny muscles you almost don’t realize you’re using. Take a squat for example, which works your quads, the muscles on the front of your thigh. If you used a leg extension machine instead, you could work that same muscle. But squatting using just your bodyweight, you bring more than just your quads into the action. Your inner and outer thigh muscles must engage to keep your legs in place. Your glutes, hamstrings, and core help to keep your body steady while you go through the movement.
Kids who are already or currently participating in organized or unorganized sports can safely start a strength training program. Usually around the age of 7 they began to show interest and can safely exercise and follow instructions. Proper technique and form is key, so starting the strength training program without resistance will ensure the technique and form is mastered before adding any resistance.
Yes, stretching before any physical activity is vital to a successful workout. Dynamic stretches like leg swings and high knees help increase blood flow and joint mobility. Good flexibility is important for injury prevention.
Kids who don’t like sports usually have had an unpleasant experience. The pressure of competing or maybe “not getting it” can bring out strong emotions. The goal is not to give up and to continue to encourage your child. Try another sport or even join a new league. Some leagues will emphasize skill building over competition. There’s something out there for every child.
At home, children can only eat what you provide them with. Stock your refrigerator with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Be a role model for your child. The behaviors your child sees regarding fitness and nutrition, your child will most likely adopt. An effective way to get children involved and committed to healthy food choices is to involve them with grocery shopping and meal preparation.