National Fitness Day 2017 : How do you get kids interested in fitness?

By 26th September 2017 News

Blog by National Fitness Day 2017 Blogger Harrison Wright

Hearing my mom constantly talking to me about what was good for me felt like torture (joke) – how many times do us kids have to hear –  eat your greens, don’t forget to clean your teeth and sit down and do your homework?  Prising us kids away from our screens and exercising more can fall into this list of never-ending nags.  I know some kids just naturally love to run around and will pick up any sort of sport and exercise offered to them, but I used to fall into the other sort of kid who showed no interest and needed a little more encouragement.

When I first began my journey I didn’t want to try anything new in the way of fitness and exercise.  I loved football, but besides the odd kickabout and trying out for the school team I didn’t have any interest in exercise.  Because I was carrying more weight than I should have I would get out of breath very quickly, and want to give in straight away.   It was hard and sometimes upset me I wasn’t able to keep up with the others.

Once me and my mom had decided to make some major changes to our lifestyle, we began to look into what sort of exercises I might enjoy.  I remember my first one to one session I hated it and didn’t want to go back.  We tried out different sorts of exercise to find the ones that I enjoyed the most and once I started to see my body changing and my fitness levels increasing I started to actually see what fitness could do for me!  Sometimes I can’t imagine a life without it.  Mom found it hard to get me interested in fitness  and it wasn’t easy for me,  but I really believe there’s a sport or exercise out there for every child – you just have to find the right one!

Here are a few slightly more unusual suggestions which might help get your own kids interested in fitness this UK Fitness Day…

CrossFit

 Increases physical competence in 10 fitness domains: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.  It’s great for us kids because there’s so much variety involved that we don’t have time to get bored before we are moved on to the next thing, and we get to sample lots of different forms of exercise.

Spin Classes

 This was one form of exercise which I enjoyed and could quickly follow. Spin classes are great because they’re a fun and social exercise which burns off a lot of calories.  Kids can get peddling away on stationary bikes (so if you can’t ride a bike it doesn’t mean you can’t spin!) and the music and visuals make it a great way to get fit without realising  we are doing it!

Weights

 Children lifting weights is, I know, (big word alert) a controversial subject.  The fitness community seem to be divided over whether we kids under the age of thirteen should be allowed to take part.  Some think lifting weights can cause our bones to fuse if we are pre-pubescent, which could stunt our growth.  I don’t see the harm in kids doing weight training if we are properly supervised, and it’s something I was and still am heavily into.  Kids in the past, after all, did far more strenuous activities ? – I’m not saying that Victorian children pulling carts down mines was a good thing, but our bodies are far more robust than many people today give them credit for.  Providing kids are made aware of their limits and are well-monitored by professional coaches, I think weight training can boost confidence and help kids get fit.

HIIT

 I do a lot of this !! High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) it’s a good way to get kids  of all levels involved in fitness activities.  As many of you will already know, I’m a major fan of the Body Coach and he’s done great work in getting HIIT into schools – you can watch his School Workout on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JoeWicksTheBodyCoach/videos/1465920606815204/) if you want to get an idea of what’s involved.  Not only do kids burn off a lot of calories with exercises like this, but it’s also really fun!

Before I began my journey, I really wouldn’t have said I had a big interest in fitness.  I have tried a lot of things before I settled on the exercise I love, but with a little trial and error I believe every parent can help their child find something they’re good at and can enjoy.  Once they’ve found something they love it no longer feels like a chore, so get them out there this National Fitness Day and try something new!

Join me, National Fitness Day and NutriTroops tomorrow for #FitnessDay as we take the fight to Obi-City

Stay up to date with Harrison’s Journey to a healthier life here.