Kids’ exercise should be fun and motivating so let’s shake things up! Looking for a challenge this week? Let’s see who can do the most squats in one day. Challenge your family to get fit and have fun. After accepting this kid’s exercise challenge, post your results and videos on the Kurbo Facebook page!  Challenge your friends and family— it makes the exercise more fun and gets everyone involved. Making it a contest can increase our motivation to push ourselves past our comfort zone.

Common questions about this kids’ exercise challenge:

Why squats? Your legs have more muscle than the rest of your body combined! When we exercise our body breaks muscle down, burning calories and building stronger muscles. You don’t need a gym; you can do your squats anywhere. 

What else does strength training do? Exercise lowers our risk for diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. It also releases feel-good hormones and endorphins. Exercise helps us perform better in the sports and activities that we enjoy. It can also protect our joints and muscles from sports related injuries.

Why do I love this kids’ exercise challenge? I was overweight as a kid and exercise helped me shed weight and build self confidence. I was picked on at school and was not happy with the way I looked and felt. I began exercising in a small gym in the garage doing squats and other exercises, and that was the beginning of a healthy habit that continues to this day.

Are exercise and strength training safe for kids? Exercise and moderate resistance training are safe for people of all ages. This should not be confused with body building or powerlifting. The most important part is to make it consistent and to make it fun. 

What’s the best way to start a strength training program for kids?According to the Mayo Clinic, a child’s strength training program isn’t necessarily a scaled-down version of what an adult would do.

Keep these general principles in mind:

  • Seek instruction. Start with a health coaching professional or personal trainer who has experience with youth strength training. The coach or trainer can create a safe, effective strength training program based on your child’s age, size, skills and sports interests. Or enroll your child in a strength training class designed for kids.
  • Warm up and cool down. Encourage your child to begin each strength training session with five to 10 minutes of light aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging in place or jumping rope. This warms the muscles and prepares them for more vigorous activity. Gentle stretching after each session is a good idea, too.
  • Keep it light. Kids can safely lift adult-size weights, as long as the weight is light enough. In most cases, one set of 12 to 15 repetitions is all it takes. The resistance doesn’t have to come from weights, either. Resistance tubing and body-weight exercises, such as pushups, are also effective options.
  • Stress proper technique. Rather than focusing on the amount of weight your child lifts, stress proper form and technique during each exercise. Your child can gradually increase the resistance or number of repetitions as he or she gets older. 
  • Supervise. Adult supervision by someone who knows proper strength training technique is an important part of youth strength training. Don’t let your child go it alone.

Rest between workouts. Make sure your child rests at least one full day between exercising each specific muscle group. Two or three strength training sessions a week are plenty.

Most importantly, keep it fun! Talk to your Kurbo coach and help your child vary the routine to prevent boredom.

How about a water challenge! Watch the video below:

Coach Nick is a hockey coach and certified personal trainer from Half Moon Bay, California. Nick works hard to improve the skills, health, and confidence of the kids he trains. He loves to play hockey, hike, and spend time with his wife and daughter.

Kurbo provides the first mobile-based health coaching and weight management program for kids, teens, and their families. See whether Kurbo is right for your child, try a Kurbo coaching plan for free today!