The Top Ten Fun Fitness Summer Activities for Kids
Summer is here and children need to
stay active, healthy and busy during their break from school.
Parents need to encourage their
children to warm up properly and stretch before each activity and teach them
never to play through any type of pain or make winning the reason for playing
any sport. Let them choose the activity and keep the focus on having fun.
To keep kids moving, the American
Council on Exercise suggests ten, fun fitness summer activities.
- Soccer This highly active
game involving both agility and teamwork has grown increasingly popular in the
U.S. in recent years. To keep kids injury free, be sure they are geared up in
appropriate protective equipment, such as shin guards. Soccer players should
also wear shoes with cleats or ribbed soles to prevent slipping.
- Martial arts With a variety
of forms to choose from, martial arts are a great way to get kids involved in
a sport that involves strength, coordination and mental discipline. Proper
training and equipment to prevent injury are a must.
- Bike riding Bicycle riding is
a fun activity for the whole family. Experts suggest children ride on
sidewalks and paths until they are at least 10 years old, show good riding
skills and are able to follow the rules of the road. Helmets, of course, are a
necessity for both children and adults.
- Swimming Nothing beats
splashing around a pool with friends, and swimming offers the benefits of a
full-body workout for both young and old. The American Academy of Pediatrics
recommends swimming lessons for children ages 4 and up, although classes are
available for babies and toddlers as well.
- Basketball Whether it's a
round of HORSE, a game of one on one, or a full-court competition, basketball
is ideal for developing hand/eye coordination and teamwork. Encourage children
under the age of seven to use a smaller foam or rubber ball, and lower the
height of the basket if possible.
- Obstacle courses Challenge
kids to use a variety of different skills by setting up an obstacle course at
the park using playground equipment or other items, such as jump ropes, balls
- Dancing Whether your kids
like ballet or hip-hop, dancing encourages them to be creative and move their
bodies freely. For video arcade fans, an innovative new game challenges
opponents to follow a dance routine while watching the video. Kids can spend
time learning new moves while also getting a great workout.
- Board sports Whether
snowboarding in the winter, surfing in the summer, or skateboarding
year-round, kids love to be on the board. Injury risk, however, is higher for
these sports. For both snowboarding and skateboarding, kids should wear
helmets to prevent head injuries, and surfers or boogie-boarders should always
be accompanied by an adult.
- Jumping rope Jumping rope is
still a favorite on most playgrounds. Whether alone or in a group, jumping
rope challenges both coordination and stamina.
Ice-skating, inline-skating and hockey can be both fun and safe as long as
appropriate protective gear such as a helmet, wrist guards and kneepads are
worn. Hockey players should wear a helmet with foam lining and a full-face
mask, a mouth guard, pads for shoulders, knees, elbows and shins, as well as