What is aerobic exercise? Learn how to improve your kids fitness with fun physical activities that build strong hearts and lungs. Discover 10 aerobic exercise examples that you and your kids will enjoy.
Aerobic, or cardio exercise, includes any type of exercise that works your large muscle groups for 20 minutes or more and strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system by keeping your heart beating between 60-80% of your maximum heart rate.
While you're exercising, your heart pumps faster and your breathing gets heavier in order to circulate oxygen and nutrients your muscles need to do their work. The longer you exercise and the higher your heart rate, the more endurance you build.
Research shows we need to do some type of aerobic exercise at least 3-4 times a week for a minimum of 30-45 minutes to increase cardiovascular endurance.
Activities like jogging, riding your bike, swimming, running around with your dog, jumping rope, and hiking are fun ways to keep your heart rate up at a good steady pace for at least 30 minutes.
A couple of the sports listed below have periods of starts and stops, so aren't truly aerobic sports, but by limiting the number of players on a team (like 3 vs. 3), players will stay active more of the time.
There's another type of exercise you might have heard of called anaerobic exercise. Unlike aerobic activity, anaerobic exercises involve quick, intense bursts of activity followed by periodic rest intervals. Though the heart rate gets up, it doesn't have to keep working hard for very long. Examples include sports like volleyball, football, tennis, weightlifting.
Both types of exercise are important for kids. Aerobic exercise keeps the heart strong, fights off weight gain, and prevents children against a host of diseases. Anaerobic exercise makes kids stronger.
As a parent and physical educator, I'm always looking for ways to improve kids fitness. I've found the best way to get children active is by disguising exercise in the form of fun games.
On this website, you'll find cardio games for kids that are excellent heart-strengthening activities, and they provide a great way to improve overall fitness. Your little ones will have so much fun, they'll forget they're working hard!
You can find lots of fun, creative ways to burn energy for groups both large and small. Just search through the games until you find one that sounds right for you.
We're adding new heart-pumping, calorie-burning kids sports activities to our database everyday. Check back often to find great new kids fitness ideas!