I did not have a healthy relationship with exercise as a kid, but as I have grown older and become a parent, I realize the importance of being active, especially for your children. One of the best ways to exercise is by playing with your children and exercising along with them.
Aerobic activity is any exercise that increases our heart rate and makes us out of breath. The goal of these exercises is to improve our stamina 💪🏻, increase the flow of oxygen in our body, and increase our lung capacity.
Aerobic activities include a wide range of sports, exercises, and martial arts. My hope with this article is to introduce your kids to different types of aerobic activities and help them understand their benefits.
Fascinating aerobic activities
Not only has exercising and taking part in various physical activities made me and my kids physically healthy, but it has also allowed us to bond and spend time with one another.
Over the weekend, I try to take my children outside on a hike or a bike ride 🚴🏻♀️, and during the week, other than taking my children to their sports practice, I try to have short dance parties with them to get their funnies out.
The activities listed below are catered toward hyperactive kids and adolescents, along with kids who feel a little shy to participate in exercise.
The goal is to show children that exercising is healthy for our mind, body, and soul and that simple exercise like hiking can make a world of difference in the long run.
If it is heavily raining or snowing where you live and you are cooped up in a house with young children, help them reduce their energy levels with frog 🐸 jumps.
To jump like a frog 🐸, ask your child to squat on the ground with their hands in front, touching the ground. Now, ask them to jump up and down and move around the room. Measure who can jump the furthest and the highest.
Swimming 🏊 is a fun physical exercise that improves cardiovascular health, strengthens your child’s lung capacity, builds muscle, improves sleep, and teaches your child water safety.
Teaching swimming 🏊 to your children from a young age also increases their self-esteem and builds their confidence, as learning to swim 🏊 shows them that they can overcome their fears and, with practice, become successful at something they failed before.
Taking your kids on a nature walk 🚶 soon? Consider speed walking 🚶 instead of walking 🚶 at a normal pace to get that heart 🫀 rate going. Walking 🚶 is incredibly underrated, especially walking in nature.
It has so many benefits and doesn’t require any special equipment. Medical research shows that walking 🚶 is a great stress reliever and helps to improve your mood if you are feeling down. You can even have a speed walking 🚶 race with the kids to see who can walk 🚶 the furthest and the fastest.
Pool Noodle Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses are an excellent way to get your child to run, jump, and duck. It really gets the heart 🫀 racing fast. During the summer, I arranged a pool noodle obstacle course for my kids.
What you need- Duct tape, pool noodles, scissors ✂️, box cutter, and pencils ✏️.
To make the obstacle course, I made some pool noodle floats and arcs. Then, I arranged them in different ways and asked my children to solve them.
The beauty of this activity is that you can also ask your child to build their own obstacle course with the same items.
Jumping Jacks 🦘 is an easy and effective example of an aerobic activity that builds muscles, improves balance, and increases your child’s stamina.
Asking your child to do jumping jacks 🦘 consecutively for 10 minutes will tire them out instantly.
Little kids, especially toddlers, love inventing new ways to walk. Crab 🦀 walking is not just a funny way to walk but actually facilitates an excellent arm and abdomen workout for your children.
Crab 🦀 walking will build their upper body strength, foster a sense of creativity and goofiness, and also improve their coordination.
One of the easiest ways to involve your child in aerobic activities is by dancing 💃. Aside from taking your kids to a dance class, try to learn choreography at home as a bonding exercise.
Dancing💃 regularly will strengthen your child’s motor skills, coordination, and the rhythm of the movement of their limbs and make them stronger. Some studies also show that dancing 💃 and listening to music from a young age helps children feel calmer and releases serotonin in the body.
Challenge your kids to a kicking competition to see who can kick 🦵the highest. To high kick 🦵, ask your child to stand up straight and swing their right leg in front of their body. Repeat with the left leg as well. The child with the highest kick wins.
To test your child’s endurance skills and speed, set up this simple game.
What you need- Two traffic🚸 cones.
Place two traffic 🚸 cones in your backyard and ask your children to run from one cone to the other for 30 seconds. The kid with the most laps will win the challenge.
Pro Tip- To increase the level of difficulty and improve your child’s stamina, you can increase the distance between the cones after each round and also increase the time limit.
Squats are a simple and fun aerobic exercise that research shows positively impacts the development of motor skills in children. Squatting repeatedly improves our balance and strengthens our body muscles like calves 🦵and glutes.
Squats are equally wonderful for adults. Therefore, you should do it along with your kids to encourage and motivate them. You can also make a game out of it to see who can jump the highest after each squat. This way, you are combining two aerobic exercises.
Teach your kids how to play hopscotch. Hopscotch reminds me of my summer vacations as a kid, as my friends and I spent hours playing it. It is only as an adult that I have realized that playing hopscotch helped with my muscle and motor skill development, improved my balance, and helped me react to stimuli quickly.
You can also add an educational twist to the game by asking your preschoolers to add the numbers as they step on them.
Yoga For Kids
Children can benefit significantly by practicing Yoga 🧘 regularly. Yoga 🧘 not only increases breathing and lung capacity, but it also builds their attention and develops the awareness of their body and mind.
You can ask your children to do the following yoga exercises- Shoulder Stand Pose, Warrior Pose, Tree Pose, and Bow Pose.
I highly recommend following an online children’s Yoga 🧘 tutorial with your child to encourage them to do Yoga 🧘 more often.
There are so many health and mental benefits of skipping rope for adults and children. All of the variations of jumping rope build your child’s muscle and strength, improve heart 🫀 health, expand lung 🫁 capacity, and enhance their balance and coordination.
You can teach your kids the following jumping rope tricks- cross jumps, high-knee jumps, double bounces, skier jumps, and side-swing jumps.
Sidewalk Chalk Name Spelling Exercise
On a sidewalk, make a 6*5 grid and write the alphabet in it in random order with chalk. Ask your child to spell their name in the correct order while hopping on one leg.
There are multiple variations of this game, and it is perfect to play with kindergarteners and first graders who are learning to spell and pronounce new words 🔤.
I love taking my kids cycling 🚴 whenever I get a chance. Cycling 🚴 is not only a rewarding aerobic activity but also a basic life skill. Cycling 🚴 on the streets prepares your children for the responsibility of driving or riding a motorcycle in the future.
It also expands our lungs’ capacity to intake more oxygen and strengthen our calves and back muscles. As my children have grown more confident on their bikes, I want to slowly introduce them to mountain biking.
Physical exercise, such as cycling 🚴, is a great way to make memories with your children.
When I was a young kid, my mother enrolled me in Taekwondo 🥋 lessons, and I remember those classes being super fun. So, when my son reached the toddler stage, I enrolled him in karate lessons, and that was one of the best decisions I made as a parent.
Practicing karate 🥋 releases his toddler energy, improves his concentration and coordination, teaches him basic self-defense, increases his confidence and self-esteem, and teaches him the value of teamwork.
Have a long jumping competition with your children. Jumping is a wonderful aerobic activity that develops your child’s fine motor skills, strengthens their lungs 🫁 and heart 🫀, and even improves their cognitive ability.
Set a long jumping course with traffic cones. Start the course with small jumps and increase the difficulty as it continues.
Running in Place
Running 🏃 in place is not just a great exercise to raise your child’s heartbeat, but it also gets the fun out of them.
There are many variations to running 🏃 in place as well. For instance, ask them to move their knees as high as possible while running 🏃 or run 🏃 as fast as they can with their legs far apart.
Have you ever noticed that climbing a set of stairs makes you out of breath? This is not something to be ashamed of as you are currently taking part in a cardio workout.
If you ever want to tire out a hyper child, challenge them to climb the most set of stairs in 5 minutes. You can also ask them to take two steps or carry something heavy for a workout.
Take Your Children on a Hike
If your child is not a fan of exercising, then you can encourage your child to get some exercise by taking them on a hike. Hiking 🚶 not only has physical health benefits but several mental health benefits as well.
Whenever I am feeling down, going for a walk gives my mind a break from all of the stressors in life and helps me prioritize my mental health. For children, hikes 🚵 are a wonderful outlet to explore their natural surroundings and fill them with a sense of accomplishment when they finish.
Take your kids on a run around the neighborhood
My children’s pediatrician told me that running 🏃 is one of the best aerobic activities. It not only helps develop a healthy heart 🫀 and set of lungs but also improves mental health, academic performance, and cognitive abilities.
If you like to go for a run, then I recommend that you start taking your kids on these runs 🏃 as well. Start building their stamina with short distances first. You can also encourage them to run by playing games like tag, relay race, or capture the flag.
Exercise Obstacle Course
Design an exercise obstacle course for your children in your backyard. Put 6 traffic cones at least 3 meters apart from one another. Each traffic will mark an exercise, which, when they complete, will allow them to move on to the next exercise.
For instance, in order to move from the first cone to the second cone, your child needs to throw a basketball in the hoop. This obstacle is meant to challenge your child’s endurance levels and problem-solving abilities.
Benefits of Aerobics Exercise for Children
Aerobic exercises refer to repetitive and rhythmic physical activity that aims to increase our heart 🫀 rate and improve our cardiovascular health. Aerobic activities have many benefits for children. Let us discuss them below-
- Improves motor nerve coordination- Motor coordination or fine motor skills is our body’s ability to move multiple body parts together to finish an intended task. Regularly participating in aerobic activities helps strengthen their fine motor skills and improves their coordination.
- Helps maintain a healthy weight- We and our kids live an extremely sedentary lifestyle. Moving our body, even in short bursts, like regularly participating in aerobic exercise, helps maintain a healthy weight.
- Improves their endurance- Participating in regular aerobic exercises boosts our cardiovascular 🫀 health, improves blood pressure, and increases our lung 🫁 capacity. All of these things together will improve your child’s endurance levels, whether they become a professional athlete, dancer, or musician.
- Better Brain Performance- Aerobic exercises aim to increase the flow of oxygen in our body by improving blood flow. Better flow of oxygen and blood in the body is linked to better brain performance. It also helps our body release mood-balancing hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
- Improves Flexibility- Aerobic exercises employ muscles and joints in their full range of motion, and this helps improve joint flexibility and mobility.
- Makes you less susceptible to viral illnesses- Research shows that aerobic activities activate our immune system and make us less susceptible to viral illnesses.
As discussed above, there are no flaws to the aerobic exercises. It has only a positive influence on our and our kids’ 🧒 lives. Exercise doesn’t always have to be boring, and we must teach our kids from a young age to have a healthy relationship with food and our physical health.
This can be achieved by introducing them to different sports, exercises, dance forms, and martial arts and making them feel comfortable taking part in them.
Hopefully, with these activities, you are able to show your kids 🧒 that exercising can be fun and rewarding. Let us know in the comments down below about what your child’s favorite activities were.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.