Easy And Fun Child Fitness Activities

In an ideal world, children would be spending a lot of time outdoors playing, jumping, running, climbing and engaging in a great many other activities that would keep them physically fit, and enjoying their world on their own terms. Let’s face it, this is no longer an ideal world.

Children spend much more time indoors sitting in front of computers, playing in the virtual world, rather than discovering the wonders of the real one. In today’s world, child fitness activities often have to be scheduled into an already busy schedule.

Childhood obesity rates have reached epidemic status, and that does not bode will for the next generation. For parents who are worried about their child’s fitness, this article will provide some helpful tips about how you can improve the health and wellness of your precious offspring.

Turn off the TV and Computer and go outside with your children:

This tip is one of the most important things that you can do for your children. Do not allow them to spend hours on end in front of any kind of monitor of screen. Get them used to being outdoors from an early age so that they will not find the artificial world as fascinating as the real one. If you have a yard large enough to accommodate playground equipment, fill it with that and don’t forget to add a garden area where you can teach them to enjoy growing plants.

Take your children to the park regularly:

Children love to go places, especially to the park where they can play with other children. Be sure to take a Frisbee or other items with you that will encourage your kids to run and play. A picnic lunch on a Saturday is the ideal way to enjoy time with your little ones and help them be active.

Encourage your children to become involved in after school activities:

Extra curricular activities such as sports and exercise classes are a great way for your children to stay in shape, and help them develop in other areas as well. Team sports or other group activities help kids to learn how important it is to engage in teamwork and interact in social settings.

If you live close enough to school, walk your kids to school: Children who walk to and from school get the benefit of this form of exercise and so will you as you set an example for them. As they get older, and you feel that it is safe to do so, allow them to walk by themselves.

Sign your kids up for fitness classes:

Martial arts like karate and judo are great ways for your children to get plenty of exercise while at the same time providing them with good training in self control. Swimming lessons, dance classes, and a myriad of other activities can help your kids to get and stay fit. In fact, Mom and Dad can benefit from the exercise as well.

These are just some of the things that can be done to help your kids discover some amazing child fitness activities that are sure to stay with them for a lifetime.

The Deck of Cards Workout – 52 Cards of Fitness and Fun!

Ever been at a loss as to what training to do? Ever thought “I’d really like someone to tell me what workout to do today”? Well then – the Deck of Cards Workout is for YOU!

This workout has been around a while and has been written about by the likes of Matt Furey and Ross Emanait and I’m pretty sure neither of them lay claim to having invented it but it’s such a good effective training system it’s worth promoting again.

The Deck of Cards Workout is deceptively simple…using a normal deck of playing cards allocate an exercise to each suit for example Hearts = squats, Diamonds = press ups, Spades = lunges, Clubs = bent-leg sit ups. Then, starting with the well shuffled deck face down, turn over the top card and do the prescribed number of reps for that exercise so if you turn over the 8 of spades you would perform 8 lunges (either in total or per leg – that’s up to you.) Then, with minimal rest turn over the next card and do that exercise and so on until each card has been turned over.

Jokers can be removed or left in to provide extra exercises – the Joker could be something like run 500 meters or do 20 burpees…whatever you feel like putting in. The idea is to complete the deck as fast as possible so it’s an excellent cardio and muscular conditioning workout. Personally I like to make sure the Joker is a real challenge to add some extra intensity to the workout but whilst a challenge is good, making the Joker so tough that you fail to complete the workout would be erroneous so use some common sense!

Regarding the picture cards, there are a couple of options…Jacks = 11, Queens = 12, Kings = 13 or all picture cards = 12 (or higher). The beauty of the Deck of Cards Workout is you set the parameters based on your current fitness level and progress is very easy to logically progress the workouts over time. For example, as time progresses and you get fitter, the ace can increase from 1 rep to 3 reps and later to 5 reps and so on which adds volume to your workout. Ideally, when you have designed and completed a deck of cards workout it’s a good idea to repeat it on a regular basis so you can monitor your improvements as you (hopefully) complete it in less time than before.

The Deck of Cards Workout lends it’s self particularly well to body weight or minimal equipment exercises which keeps the transitions fast and the pace of the workout high but it can work equally well using traditional weight training exercises. Below I have outlined some of my favourite Deck of Cards Workouts to get you started…feel free to use them as they are or mix elements from the different workouts into your own unique training session. If you come up with a particularly good one, why not post it below for others to use?

1)Black cards = push ups, Red cards = bodyweight squats
Jokers = run 500 meters

2)Hearts = Burpees, Diamonds = double unders (x 2), Spades = high pulls, Clubs = sit ups, Jokers = 60 second planks.
(For this workout, when performing double unders complete 2 reps for every number of Diamonds i.e. 4 of Diamonds = 8 double unders)

3)Hearts = skipping (x 10), Diamonds = body rows, Spades = kettlebell swings, Clubs = dips, Jokers = row 500 meters.
(For this workout when skipping perform 10 turns of the rope for every number of Hearts i.e. 7 of Hearts = 70 turns of the rope etc.)

4)Hearts = step ups, Diamonds = sandbag clean and push press, Spades = chin ups, Clubs = crunches
Jokers = 100 rope turns skipping

5)Hearts = barbell squats, Diamonds = barbell deadlifts, Spades = body rows, Clubs = bench press, Jokers = 60 seconds of twisting sit ups
(For this workout use around 60% of 1RM – it may be necessary to perform the reps rest/pause style i.e. if unable to perform all of the reps when a high card is revealed then do as many of the reps as possible, rest briefly and then continue with the set)

I strongly recommend writing in large letters the exercises you have allocated for each suit and sticking it somewhere visible for the duration of the workout. This will minimise any time wasted trying to remember what exercise you are supposed to be doing and avoid making mistakes.

As the cards come out in a random order, sometimes you’ll get a good run of dissimilar cards but from time to time you’ll think you must be playing poker and you’ll get runs of suits or lots of high cards in a row. Tough! That’s the beauty of this workout – you never quite know what you are going to get and that randomness is part of not just the fun but also the training effect. Runners call this kind of mixed training Fartlek which means speed play so just keep on keeping on – for every “bad” run there will be a good one.

There are endless variations for the deck of card workout and you are only limited by your imagination and as a change from the norm it’s a great but simple workout which really gets the job done!

Stop-the-press!

Feeling inspired after writing this piece so I did a Deck of Cards Workout for my own training today.

I warmed up by skipping for 5 minutes and doing a few dynamic stretches…

Ran 500 meters
Black cards = press ups
Red cards = bodyweight squats
(All picture cards done for 12 reps, other cards for face value)
Jokers = run 500 meters – my pack has 3 of ’em for some reason!
Ran 500 meters to finish

182 reps completed for press ups and squats plus 2,500 meters running

Total time from start to finish including the additional 500 meter runs = 26 mins 7 secs of FUN!

Exercise, Health & Fitness and You

Through dedicated exercise, health and fitness can be achieved by both men and women. Today there are more gyms and health and fitness centers than ever before. Even community based fitness classes have more participants.

People are becoming very conscious about getting in shape and they are willing to go the extra mile to do it. There are exercise books and CDs that can show you how to learn different techniques that are used in programs such as aerobics, yoga or Pilates that you can practice in the privacy of your home.

However, most of these exercises are much more productive when they are performed in a group setting. When you attend exercise classes you get feedback, assistance, and you have the fun and excitement that often occurs in group activities.

Yoga classes have been around for a long time, and the actual history of yoga dates back over centuries. This program offers a more refined and gentle type of physical exercise and fitness regime that people of all ages can use. Most of the health clubs offer several different yoga styles in their classes.

The aerobics craze is still going strong and provides great heart healthy benefits to participants. This program is known for the burn, and the people who want to attend these classes need to be prepared to engage in some high speed, heart-pounding physical activity.

There are also classes that promote working and training with weights. These classes are for both men and women, and can be some of the healthiest of all classes available for you. When you work with weights, you are challenging yourself both mentally and physically. Weight training will provide you with better balance, coordination, and stronger bones.

Women will gain toned and defined bodies by working with weights without the bulk and heavy muscle that will be gained by the men.