Childrens Fitness Academy: Cardio for kids

As adults we wonder which cardio exercise is better for us. We want to burn off as much fat as possible!

Scientists discovered that during intensive exercises, your body burns glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrates that are stored in your liver and muscles for energy. During low intensity exercises, your body will burn a lot of fat. These exercises can include running or swimming. But have you tried to get your kid to go running or swimming for the sake of exercise? You were probably met with moans and groans, which is why you need to make it FUN!!!

Kids need cardio, just like adults. The question is how to get them to indulge in cardio exercise, whether it is high or low intensity. Here are a few simple suggestions:

• Trick them—but don’t lie to them. Encourage them to join you on a fun outdoor walk and take a camera or a picnic. Host a swimming party at the local pool and have the children compete to see who can swim the most laps in the least amount of time. These exercises are great for kids.

• Make it fun for them. A mini trampoline can be used by anyone. This is great for the rainy days when your kids are full of energy they just have to expend. This piece of equipment is endorsed by NASA and can be enjoyed while watching television!

• Let them be like mum and dad. If you have gym equipment in your home, allow your children to create their own gym. Using adult equipment may injure little bones and joints.

• Get up a sports team. Not all kids are in organized sports. Get up a neighborhood football league or tennis team. Team sports will provide great cardio exercise!

Cardio exercise will juice up your metabolism even after you have completed your workout. What this means, is that your body will continue to burn body fat hours after you have stopped. And the more cardio you do, the more energy you and your kids will have.


How your children can maintain their energy levels throughout the day….

Kids are funny. They have loads of energy but just when you think they can’t go any more they crash and burn – the thing is you want them to have a consistent surge of energy not a rollercoaster of energy and slumps. To make this work you need to;

1. Always eat breakfast. Include a slow burning starchy food like oats or rye bread, and a source of protein such as yogurt or eggs.

2. Plan a mid-morning snack, such as 2 oatcakes with 2 tsp of hummus or nut butter or some fruit.

3. Don’t leave lunch too late; before 2pm is a good idea. Never leave more than 4 hours between meals or snacks to keep your energy levels up. This is easy when they are at school but remember this at weekends!

4. Include a wholegrain starchy food in their lunch such as wholegrain bread, brown rice, quinoa or couscous. These foods are high in B vitamins, needed to make energy.

5. Eat more foods containing magnesium, also needed to make energy. Magnesium is found in wholegrains (see above), nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli.

6. Plan a after school snack to prevent the common 4pm energy slump. A piece of fruit with  8-10 nuts is ideal. Or try a raw food bar, such as a Nak’d bar or 9 Bar.

7. Only have foods high in sugar, eg cakes, biscuits, chocolate, pastries, as an occasional treat. sugar gives a short term energy boost but may be damaging in excess (to your waistline too!).

9. Take regular exercise like my fitness classes!

10. Drink around 1.5 to 2 litres of water, about 6-8 glasses spread throughout the day. Being dehydrated may contribute to fatigue.