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The Best 10 Types of Exercise for Kids Who Get Too Much Screentime

The Best 10 Types of Exercise for Kids Who Get Too Much Screentime

I think you’ll agree with me when I say that technology use today for kids is out of control. We see kids everywhere glued to a screen.

For parents, it’s not hard to see the appeal. After all, nothing brings a sense of calm and peace faster than letting kids use technology. But the downsides of technology are many. We have out of control rates of childhood obesity, diabetes, ADHD and more.

The solution seems obvious. We need to get our kids off screens and engaging in physical activity.

In this post we’ll explore the best exercise for kids. More importantly, we’ll look at the ones they will actually love and want to do again and again.

The challenges of getting kids to want to exercise

Let’s face it. Telling our kids to put the Kindle or laptop down and go out and play is going to be met with resistance.

The online world of Minecraft, Roblox and YouTubbers is fun. It’s dynamic and colorful. It’s never boring.

So to find an exercise for kids that will entice them in that same way, we have to get creative. Think beyond walking the neighborhood, forget the treadmill and don’t even think about jumping jacks.

10 Best exercises for kids

Here are the 10 very best exercises for kids they will actually want to do all on their own:

1. Glow in the dark hula hoop

    I don’t think there’s any aspect of hula hooping that looks or feels like exercise. But guess what? Doing the hula hoop is a great cardio workout! It also helps significantly with coordination. Improved focus and concentration are side-benefits too.

    But to really make this something your kids will demand, opt for glow in the dark hula hoops! Everyone loves glow in the dark anything!

    You can also opt for color changing hoops too. Turn any dark room into an instant dance party for your kids and watch the calories burn!

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    Who knew an exercise for kids could be so much fun?

    2. Tug of war

      Kids love good playful competition.

      Tug of war builds excellent core strength and is great for biceps and calves. The whole time you’re building muscle and shredding fat you’re building team work too.

      For extra fun, get the kids tugging right after a good rain. They’ll get nice and muddy. Studies have shown that a bacteria that lives in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, has proven health benefits.[1]

      3. Martial arts

        Martial arts is a great exercise for kids! The right school can help foster and develop the following qualities in our kids:

        • Confidence
        • Focus
        • Resilience
        • Self-regulation

        Aside from those mental and emotional benefits, martial arts is often one of the most suggested activities for kids with ADHD.

        Martial arts is great at developing hand-eye coordination, core strength, balance and the ability to stay calm under pressure. Who couldn’t benefit from those things?

        Finding a great school can be a little confusing. So check out the best way to find a great martial arts school for your kids.

        4. Rock climbing

          Rock climbers are among some of the fittest athletes. You’re building incredible core strength and excellent arm and leg muscles. You also develop strategy skills in deciding on when and where to move next.

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          Even more importantly, rock climbing has been shown to have a positive impact on anxiety, self-esteem and depression.

          Do it safely as a gym or activity center near you.

          5. Swimming

            We all hear about how great of an exercise for kids swimming is. It’s great for flexibility, reducing inflammation and building bone mass. Most kids love to swim and play in the pool with their friends.

            But a true added bonus is that studies have shown that swimmers have a 50% lower death rate than other forms of exercise.[2] So instilling a love for swimming could literally lengthen your child’s life.

            These are only a few of the benefits. Check out all the outstanding benefits of swimming.

            6. Tennis

              Tennis builds great teamwork and self-confidence. It also is great for strategy; a real plus for kids used to playing video games.

              But the real benefits of tennis are some of the outstanding physical benefits:

              1. Hand-eye coordination
              2. Flexibility
              3. Fine motor control
              4. Balance

              As your child develops a love of tennis and grows their skill, this is truly something they will love the rest of their life.

              7. Gymnastics

                Most kids who do gymnastics are not likely to end up in the Olympics. But that’s totally OK! Gymnasts are among the fittest of all athletes.

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                Kids gain flexibility, coordination, improved cognitive function, self-discipline and amazing core strength.

                Because they are rolling, twirling and flipping with other kids their own age, it won’t feel like exercise for kids at all!

                Do look for a school that will impart the basics in a supervised manner. You don’t need a school that focuses on trying to develop professional gymnasts. We’re here to foster health in our kids and get them to find ways of having fun off the screens.

                8. Soccer

                  Soccer builds cardiovascular health while building flexibility and coordination. Most importantly, it fosters excellent teamwork skills and kids have a blast doing it.

                  Since soccer is played outdoors, you also get all the amazing benefits of your kids playing outside. They get more vitamin D and develop stronger bones.

                  Studies have shown that children who spend too much time indoors and on screens can develop nearsightedness.[3] So improved vision can actually be another benefit of soccer.

                  Chances are there’s a local soccer league near you. If not, consider starting one!

                  9. Wrestling

                    Unlike martial arts, wrestling is focused exclusively on 2 people. It builds incredible sensitivity since you’re trying to feel what your partner is doing through close contact.

                    It is among the best exercise for kids since it helps foster:

                    • Self-regulation
                    • Personal responsibility
                    • Self-defense skills

                    It’s also a great exercise for kids that won’t break the bank. You don’t need tons of special gear.

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                    Also, since wrestlers don’t typically try and go pro, it’s not one of those sports that slowly eats away all your free time and money.

                    10. Parkour

                      Who doesn’t want to look and move like a superhero?

                      Parkour, sometimes called freerunning, is a little bit gymnastics, a little bit martial arts, but altogether different. It’s closer to skateboarding but without the skateboard.

                      A lot of the contestants on shows like American Ninja Warrior have a parkour background. Parkour has become very popular over the last few years thanks to that show and the TV show Arrow.

                      Chances are you can find a parkour school near you. If not, inquire if your local gymnastics place offers a parkour class.

                      Parkour engages the mind with climbing and jumping over obstacles while building serious core strength and coordination.

                      The best exercise for kids will be one that seems cool and exciting and doesn’t feel like exercise (but is!) Parkour easily fits that bill!

                      Balancing screen time with exercise for kids

                      So we know that screens and technology are an integral part of today’s society. Screens are naturally a much bigger part of children’s worlds than any generation before. But we don’t have to throw our hands up in defeat.

                      As with much of life, we just need balance. The benefits to limiting screen time are numerous.[4] So finding an exercise for kids that gets them off the couch but also stimulates their minds is crucial.

                      You may need to try several of these to find the one(s) that really resonate with your kids. Once you find the right one, your kids will be begging to do it again and again. And you just might find their interest in screen time takes a back seat.

                      In this post we looked at some of the very best exercises for kids. Exercises keep the mind engaged while bringing tremendous physical and emotional benefit. Specifically we looked at exercises and activities that are never boring. Ones that can compete with the best apps and games, finally bringing balance to your home.

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Jeff Campbell

                      A husband and father trying to help other dads and moms navigate through the worlds of mindfulness, health, parenting, marriage/relationships& more.

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                      Last Updated on November 18, 2020

                      50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                      50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                      If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                      That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

                      Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

                      1. Believe It to See It

                      Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                      2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                      While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                      3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                      Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                      4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                      Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                      5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                      There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                      6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                      It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                      7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                      Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                      8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                      Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                      9. Maximize Your Strengths

                      Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                      10. Be in It to Win It

                      Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                      11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                      People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                      12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                      Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                      13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                      You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                      14. Be a One-Off Original

                      Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                      15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                      Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                      16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                      Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                      17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                      Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                      18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                      We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                      19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                      Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                      20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                      Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                      21. Make Your Own Luck

                      In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                      22. Ignite Your Initiative

                      While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                      23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                      Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                      24. Champion in Communication

                      Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                      25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                      Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                      26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                      To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                      27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                      While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                      28. Live by Core Values

                      Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                      29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                      Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                      30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                      Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                      31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                      Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                      32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                      Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                      33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                      Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                      34. Change Opens New Doors

                      People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                      35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                      It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                      36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                      Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                      37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                      When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                      38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                      How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                      39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                      If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                      40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                      Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                      41. Swim Against the Tide

                      Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                      42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                      More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                      43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                      Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                      44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                      While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                      45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                      Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                      46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                      Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                      47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                      While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                      48. Follow Through

                      Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                      49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                      We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                      50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                      To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                      So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

                      Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

                      More About Success

                      Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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