Training at home with children? Here are the benefits

Physical activity intended as play promotes healthy physical and mental development in children. Movement is not only functional for cognitive development, but also helps children to stay active and release energy. Parents are also benefiting from this, as the pandemic has meant that they have had to learn to coordinate work and children indoors. The need to keep children busy, unable to sit still for too long, has led parents to discover that physical activity in the company of their children at home can be a useful, but above all fun, activity.

The importance of movement in children

Movement is essential at every stage of life. Exercising is particularly important for your child’s health: scientific studies show that physical activity has a positive effect on children’s bones, heart and even weight, and that they are able to sleep and eat better by releasing their energy. The World Health Organization itself, in drawing up the new guidelines to combat sedentary lifestyle exacerbated by the pandemic, recommended regular physical activity for children.

The WHO defines different age groups and provides for 30 minutes a day of interactive play on mats for infants and 180 minutes for children aged 1 to 4. For children between 5 and 11 years of age, the WHO recommends 60 minutes of gymnastics, combined with musculoskeletal strengthening exercises three times a week. Regular physical activity has many benefits for children: from the development of muscular strength and endurance, to the improvement of the locomotor skills and the increase of the stability. Moving also creates bodily and emotional awareness, e helps build and improve self-esteem.


Parent-child training: the benefits

Not only children, but also their parents benefit from regular physical activity. With the lockdown and the closure of the gyms, mothers and fathers have had to change their normal habits. In the search for diversions for their little ones, they found that training at home with their children became a pleasant routine, useful for relieving accumulated tension and keeping fit. More or less complex movement games, played together at home, can be useful to face a stressful situation in a more relaxed way and represent an enrichment for the whole family.

Parent-child training is useful for both”, explains Silvano Zanuso, Director of Medical-Scientific Research for Technogym. “For the parent, who may do movements that he no longer does in a relationship, such as climbing and rolling; but also for the children who, by observing what mum and dad do, especially if they do it consistently, will become active people”. Parents are the first and most important teachers for their children, and through exercises they help them to develop those skills that are essential for their development: “Healthy lifestyles are not taught in words, they are demonstrated”, continues the professor, “The are many studies that show that the children of parents who practice sport consistently become active adults. It is a responsibility, but also a joy to be able to pass on to your children a passion for a healthy and active life”.


Gymnastics with mum and dad: useful exercises and tools

There are plenty of opportunities to have fun exercising with your child. The secret it to spend quality time with your child, without compromising on fitness and helping the little ones unload some of their immense energy reserves. First, it is helpful to find the safest corner of the house – the roomiest and without edges – in which to start the workout session. During the warm-up, before the home training, the children will let off steam by jumping, walking, running, rolling and dancing.

An essential piece of equipment for family training is the gym mat, a playground for children and an indispensable tool for abs and floor exercises for adult. By letting children handle objects similar to those of their parents and imitating their movements, they can explore unknown objects and increase their knowledge. Mum can train while baby plays with the Power Band Resistance Set or the colored Elastic Bands. Older children can join their parents in a rope jumping competition with Jump Rope, learn to balance on a balance board, or even have fun challenging dad on the treadmill at home by changing speed and incline.

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