When we think of exercise for children, we think of them running around the house and playing. While that is certainly a physical activity, it doesn’t target all the parts of the body. The workout should include exercises for good cardiovascular function, bone density, stronger muscles, etc. We definitely won’t be registering our little ones to the gym, but there are certain exercises that children can do from home. But getting them to work out in a place every day is not the definition of fun for them.
While we talk about exercises, we also cannot neglect the benefits it has on the brain. The child’s body grows stronger with the exercises, and so does their brain. The benefits of exercise include better balance, increased focus, and concentration, development of motor and gross motor skills, as well as development and improvement on the eyesight of the child. When the child exercises, serotonin is released from the brain, and hence they are prevented from the symptoms of childhood depression.
After being stuck with books and screen, the child needs some physical exercise in the fresh air. But what can be those exercises? And how exactly does it benefit the brain? Read on, and you will find out the same.
10 exercises for children
The exercise for children that will help them to regulate their overall weight and target all the parts of the body is running. You can encourage your child to go running with you every morning or evening. You can have races amongst their friends. They can also participate in running competitions of the school and community. Regular practice of running will help them build a strong body, and this is a healthy habit that they can practice when they grow up as well.
A squat is an important exercise for toddlers. When children squat, they will have the foundation of strong, lean, and athletic legs. They will also build muscle, strength, and endurance. Many have reported having an increase in self-confidence after finishing the squats. Your child can do 10 squats a day, and if they resist, try to play a game wherein they have to bend down, and their bum has to touch the stool and get back up.
When children do skipping as a form of exercise children, they are training both their body and brain. Skipping is considered as cardio, and it will work their whole body, especially their core. While skipping, the child learns how to balance which works both the sides of their brain. This leads them to be agile and well-balanced. You can also teach them various versions of skipping, and they can practice one style a day.
4. Crab walk
If your child is resistant to any form of exercise toddler, then you can try this exercise with them every day. In this, the child will have their feet in front and hands in the back. They have to lift their bellies and walk on four legs. This is the crab walk. It is very silly and fun which is why your toddler will readily do this every day. You can also ask them to balance lightweight objects on their bellies. This a good exercise to target the core and arms.
5. Bear crawl
This is a fun toddler exercise. The toddler will be on all fours and walk around the house. The only rule is that their knees will not touch the ground. Parents can host bear crawl competitions, or they can also walk like this around the house when they wish to go from one room to another. To encourage the child, parents and children can walk together bear style. Thus exercise will heighten their sense of awareness, core strength, and their limbs will learn to endure the weight.
While doing any children exercises if you ask your child “do you want to exercise like superman?” the answer will be yes. The superman position involves the child to lie on the ground on their stomach. Then, raise their hands and legs and balance their body on their bellies. This exercise targets the neck, back, hamstring, glutes, and arms. But this position should be done correctly, and hence needs parental supervision.
7. Zombie walk
This is a trick to get the child to do the best exercise for children, i.e. the cross-lateral movement. In this exercise, the child will stand with his arms extended in a straight line. The child then has to walk wherein their right-hand touches the toe of the left leg, and the left hand will touch the toe of the right leg. They can even make noises for maintaining the zombie walk aesthetics. This exercise will help them to shed their love handles and to have a muscular and strong body. It will also improve their balance and coordination.
8. Stretching or acrobats
All the best exercises for the toddler will help them to perform acrobats. They will need their core and arm strength especially to perform any acrobat. They can start by stretching their body to make their body flexible and agile. Then, you can teach them step by step the various acrobats. The motivation is the ability to do tricks that other children cannot. If your child is resistant to all exercises, he or she will definitely say yes for learning acrobats. Remember; take it slow and step by step.
The best exercise for children is the plank, and this is because it targets the whole body and strengthens the core. This exercise can start from 10 seconds and go up to a minute gradually. The child will support their body on their arms and core. This will also teach them how to find the central balance of their body, and there is no risk of injury.
10. Jumping jacks
Children love to jump around and to do this best exercise toddler, they just have to raise their hands at the sides. Jumping jacks will increase their heart rate and increase their cardiovascular function. The jumping jacks will also improve their balance and coordination. The jumping jacks target the entire body, and this is a fun twist to their regular jumps.
How physical fitness benefits the brain?
We now know which exercises are good for the children and what body parts it targets. But can physical fitness also improve developmental skills? Read on, and find out the benefits of exercise on the brain.
1. Brain endurance
One of the main benefits of exercise is that it promotes the healthy growth of new brain cells while also maintaining and preserving the older brain cells. Exercises that increase the endurance of the body such as running, skipping, etc. will also increase the endurance and development of your child’s brain cells.
2. Strength of the brain
If you are a parent who is wondering what the benefits of exercise toddler are, and then the answer is that it builds the strength of the brain. The exercises that help to strengthen the muscle, it will also strengthen the brain, alleviate mood, and increase the decision-making process and concentration of the child.
3. Super aging
When your child is young, their brain is still in the developmental stage. One of the benefits of exercise children is that your child’s brain will develop in mature and far advanced than other children their age. Their brain will be flexible and be able to process and retain information faster and longer. After a certain age, they will tend not to forget where the key is and be able to solve complex problems easily.
When children exercise, their brain releases the hormone called serotonin and dopamine. This is the best benefit of children’s exercise as it keeps the child away from childhood depression and refreshed in general.
Our cerebrum is the one that gets the most benefit of toddler exercise as it is irresponsible for the balance of the body. When a toddler is actively exercising and moving the body in different ways, they are training their body to find a central balance in various forms. The balancing that they master today will make them quick on their feet when they grow up, and they can balance on the most difficult terrains due to their flexible body.
6. Concentration and focus
The concentration and focus are improved and enhanced due to physical fitness. This is because when your child exercises regularly, they have to concentrate, focus, and beware of their body and surroundings. This will make them sharp in their academics, and they can focus on their tasks efficiently.
Exercising for 15 minutes to half an hour a day is enough for your child. Doing this early in the morning will help them have a good day overall, and if they are busy, then doing it in the evening will ensure that they have a good night’s rest and give their body boost and energy to work on their tasks.