Child exercise practitioners are people who take it upon themselves to promote physical activity among children. Designing an exercise plan for children is a serious matter, taking into your hands the well-being and fitness of people’s little sons and daughters.
Being physically active plays a huge role in benefiting many parts of the body:
- The heart
- Skeletal muscles
- Blood, for example cholesterol levels
- The immune system
- The nervous system
Exercise can also reduce the following risk factors:
- High blood pressure
- Improving blood cholesterol levels
- Lower body mass index (BMI)
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
‘Getting fit’ does not mean – or have to involve – rigorous activity. It doesn’t mean that hours have to be spent in a gym to be physically active. Performing everyday activities in the home can assist you with becoming active. When a child is physically fit they feel and look better. More importantly, they stay healthy. The earlier a child start getting in shape the more they’ll reduce their risk of numerous illnesses.
Planning a children exercise program
Here’s how to plan a successful – and safe – exercise program for children:
Set clear objectives
Before establishing the exercise plan for children, you need to assess their capabilities. Once you know their activity thresholds, you’ll have a clear idea of how hard you can push them. Then, develop an exercise timeline and share this with the parents or guardians.
Many parents panic about the possibility of exercise-related injuries. What they are inclined to forget is that exercise is an important health maintenance strategy for children and adolescents I the risk of injury is kept at a minimum with proper prevention measures. In most cases, an active childhood lays the groundwork for a lifetime of fitness.
Use concise instruction
It is fine that you’ve written down the exercises you’ll be using, and the sets/reps necessary, but they won’t know what to do unless you show them. When demonstrating, focus on correct form and make them understand its importance.
Understanding the child’s mindset is imperative to helping them believe in themselves and to provide the discipline and comforts them into knowing that they are cared for and understood. Here are three steps to understanding the mindset of the youth:
- Try to understand and remember how you felt at that age and act age appropriately towards the child in question.
- Understanding the motivation and skill level of the child will help a fitness professional to learn if they need to delegate, inspire, guide or direct the child to become better mentally or physically.
- Be strong with actions and words so that the child will look up to you as a role model.
One task at a time
When performing the exercises, be sure to focus on a single objective at a time. Older children can be separated, like rugby coaches separating backline and forward players. Young kids are easily distracted and might start copying their friends instead.
Adults and older children know how to perform sit-ups, push-ups, and a few other staple exercises without needing assistance – but not young kids. You’ll need to watch their body positioning, and assist with correct posture and form.
Be ready to step in
Like the coach you always dreamed you would have, be ready to support your young athletes – both emotionally and physically. If working with strength training, stay available to spot struggling young athletes.
As a child exercise practitioner, the athletes’ well-being should be put first before anything else. For this reason, allow children enough time to master an exercise before moving onto the next one – even if it takes longer than it should.
Use positive reinforcement
Finally, always remember to keep a healthy dose of positive motivation and reinforcement handy alongside your exercise plan. Children need to be told that they’re doing well, even if it’s just to motivate them to actually do well.
Get Qualified with an Exercise and Children Course
If it’s been your dream to work in the child fitness industry, Trifocus Fitness Academy’s exercise for children course is the ideal first step towards becoming a children’s exercise practitioner. Get a sound, holistic understanding of child exercise management in a distance-learning format. If you’d like to find out more, connect with us today!