Children's Fitness Training
Numerous recent studies show that a vast majority of children follow a sedentary lifestyle, with the main culprit being the TV and computer games.
Positive steps need to be taken to encourage children to become more active. By not doing so, many conditions and diseases associated with a sedentary life will rise as inactive children become inactive adults.
Set out a circuit dependent on the size of your group. Remember children will work best in pairs, so a 10 station circuit can cater for at least 20 children. If your group is larger than 20, you should certainly have more than one adult, in which case you could split the group into two, one group doing the circuit whilst another does a different activity.
Demonstrate all the circuit stations clearly, with both circuit cards and visual demonstration. Allow about 30 - 45 seconds on each station, with a minimum of 20 - 30 seconds rest between stations.
Depending on the size of the circuit, aim to go around 2 - 3 times, and ideally lay out the circuit so that you have no similar exercises next to each other, i.e. two arm exercises.
The home exercise section has a complete list of different exercises that require little or no equipment, aim to look at the beginner or intermediate exercises, however avoid all of the advanced exercises or those that will place undue stress on the children's young joints - muscles and bones.
Arrange children into groups, the smaller the group, the harder the workout.
On the command "go" the first child runs to a mat at the end of the room, and performs a set number of exercises, i.e. 10 sit-ups. On the return they change with other members in the group.
Many varieties can be added to this basic form, these include dribbling a ball up and back, different exercises at the end.
Arrange children into a circle, (standing about 1 m apart) facing inwards. Call out a description that only applies to a few children, such as:- Wearing red shorts, brown hair, blue eyes, born in June etc. The children to whom the call applies run round the outside of the circle in a clockwise direction and return to their starting position.
Using a long piece of rope, or two skipping ropes joined together, stand in the middle of the children, who should be in a circle. Spin the rope around, so that the children have to jump over it. Those that catch the rope with their feet or legs are asked to skip this game. Continue on, turning the rope faster, or higher off the floor, until only one child remains.
Destroyers and Rescuers
Use as many double colored bean bags or pieces of card, as there are children. Place the beanbags or pieces of card around the room with the same color upwards.
Split the children into two groups, destroyers and rescuers. On the command the destroyers have to turn the beanbags over to show the other color. Mean while the rescuers can turn them back to show the original color. Both groups can only use their hands. Kicking or throwing is not permitted. Swap the groups around after a set period of time (60) seconds.
Count the number of beanbags / cards in various colors to see which group won. Change the roll of each group, as well as changing the persons within the groups, ideally so that everyone gets a chance to win. Hopefully these notes will be of some help, just remember the key point, MAKE THE ACTIVITY ENJOYABLE. If the children enjoy the exercise, then they will work harder, however avoid pushing any child too hard.
Children working with weights should always use lightweights, due to the fact that their bodies are still developing, and heavy weights can cause long term damage in most children.
If you find any children that are obviously gifted in a chosen sport, or simply keen on it, encourage them to join that particular club.