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Using Your Child’s Fitness Personality to Create a Fun Exercise Regimen!

Personality traits, genetics, and athletic ability combine to influence kids’ attitudes toward participation in sports and other physical activities. Help your kids figure out their fitness personality based on their overall personality to ensure a lifelong love of exercise!

If your child is very social, encourage team sports, dance classes, biking, or skateboarding with a friend. These activities will keep your child active and entertained for hours.

For the introspective child, try exercises such as yoga, swimming, jump rope, jogging, or working out with an exercise video. Team sports might be too much pressure to perform in front of an audience. The suggested exercises allow your child to exercise at her own pace.

If your child is adventurous and likes to be outdoors, suggest exercises such as rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, surfing or even mountain biking. These sports will keep your child motivated each time he hits a new trail!

For the creative child, suggest exercises that they will allow your child to express herself, such as dance classes, yoga, gymnastics, ice skating, dancing around the house, running, fast walking or even using exercise equipment at home with music she loves.

If your child is competitive at heart, encourage as many team sports as possible, such as tennis, hockey, or soccer. Try to encourage running sports so she is able to benefit from the great cardiovascular workout!


Creating a Workout Regimen:
When creating a workout routine, choose the sports or exercises that fit your child the best and make it fun. Try adding music to each routine or creating a playlist; music is a powerful motivation tool and makes everything more enjoyable! Below is an example of a detailed workout regimen:

» First start with a warm-up to allow the muscles to wake up and get ready for the work ahead! A warm-up should last between 4 to 10 minutes. Do exercises that focus on the major muscle groups of the body. Try walking around the block or up and down the stairs, lunges, squats, shoulder rolls, and raising and lowering the shoulders.
» Next, start working on increasing the heart rate for the cardiovascular (aka “cardio” portion of the exercise. Try to keep your child’s heart rate up for at least 30 minutes to get the most benefits. Try running/jogging, jumping, skipping, jumping jacks, biking, swimming, dancing, and kick-boxing or even surfing when it’s nice out!
» Now, try working on strength. This does not mean body building or even lifting weights; muscle strength can be improved using your own body weight and is very safe for children. Try doing at least two of the different exercises for at least 5 minutes each. Try push-ups on the floor or at the wall, plank, stomach crunches, wall squats, throwing and catching a weighted ball, lunges, or even jumping squats.
» Of course we must end with the cool down! The cool down is just as important as all the other parts of the exercise routine but is usually skipped. After working out, muscles can start to tighten up, leading to injury. Be sure to stretch the muscles that were worked out during the exercise routine. Try doing at least two different stretches for 3 to 5 minutes each; try neck rolls, shoulder rolls, quad stretches, hamstring stretches, butterfly stretch (sit on the floor with the soles of feet touching and lower upper body, nose to feet), or sit on the floor and forward bend, trying to touch your toes while keeping your legs straight.

Try as many different exercises as possible to keep your child moving. Kids who exercise often are less likely to become overweight or obese and have a decreased risk of developing type II diabetes and heart disease. They also sleep better and have an all around positive attitude about life. Regular exercise, along with a balanced diet will lead to a lean body with strong muscles and bones, allowing for a long and healthy life!

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I created an exercise "routine" of sorts with my 2 and 3 year olds. They love it!
http://quirkymomma.com/2009/preschoolers-exercising/

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