Your children might like playing around a lot and tiring themselves out. It could be playing sports, swimming, or any other form of physical activity. But, you might have heard them complaining about sore muscles for days after intense physical activity, especially if they are not used to exercising daily. This is why it becomes essential to practise warm-up exercises beforehand.
Essentially, warm-up exercises help prepare the body for what’s coming next without putting too much pressure. Warm-up can be a simple aerobic activity like walking or jogging before running or simple stretches. It does not have to be physically taxing. It gets the body ready to work up the muscles while exercising.
After all, sudden vigorous activities have way too many disadvantages, various long-term ones, other than the immediate ones like soreness, of course.
Why Are Warm-Up Exercises Important?
Warm-ups are critical because it allows the body to move and get used to the upcoming physical activities. The heart rate and breathing rate increase slowly, which allows the lubrication of joints. It then allows a better range of motion and better elasticity in movements.
If your child directly starts exercising before doing any warm-up exercise, they will put a lot of unnecessary pressure on the heart, lungs, and joints. There is also an increased risk of injuries without warm-ups.
This is because the regular activity will loosen the joints and improve blood flow in the body, which will, in turn, make muscles stronger and less likely to tear. So warm-up exercises for kids are a must before any intense physical activity.
Benefits of Warm-Up Activities for Kids
If you are still in two minds about the importance of warm-up for kids before exercise, read the various benefits to put those doubts to rest.
#1. Improved Blood Flow
Even a simple 10 min warm-up session can improve the blood flow to the muscles and open the blood capillaries. The blood carries oxygen to the muscles, which is essential for efficient functioning and will help avoid soreness.
#2. Improved Oxygen Intake
The muscles need more oxygen during physical activities so doing warm-up exercises is beneficial for that purpose too.
#3. Better Muscle Contraction & Relaxation
The muscles will work more efficiently because of increased muscle metabolism.
#4. Mental Preparation
Warm-up prepares the mind to become more focused on the upcoming physical activities.
#5. Improved Overall Performance
It improves your performance over time, which builds endurance, strength and flexibility.
Follow These Steps to Create a Routine
You can create a customised warm-up routine best suited for your kids. There are a few steps for you to do just that.
#. Start with slow and simple exercises that do not exert the body too much.
#. Slowly speed those movements and add more high impact exercises like the jumping jacks.
#. Increase the types of warm-up exercises for kids to include new ones for a better range of motion.
#. After the muscles have warmed up, ask your child to follow it up with some static stretches.
Different Types of Warm-Up Exercises
Simply walking or jogging also count as a warm-up for kids or adults alike. However, if you are looking for specific exercises that your children can do, we have quite a few options for you.
#1. Dance: If your child has a favourite song they like to groove to, allow them to dance to it for a few minutes.
#2. Arm Circles: In this exercise, your child will stretch his/her arms away from the shoulders and turn them in small circles. Slowly they will increase the size of the circles. Alternate between moving the arms forward and backward circles for at least 10 minutes.
#3. High-Knees: Ask your child to lift one knee as high as they can in the air and then switch to the other.
#4. Jumping Jacks: Both the arms and legs are involved in this exercise. To start, make sure that the kid is standing in an upright position with both arms on the sides. Then, ask them to bend both their knees slightly and jump into the air. While jumping, both the legs need to be spread shoulder-width apart. Also, both arms should be stretched out and over their head. Repeat about 20 times.
Some more Types
#5. Butt-Kicks: When the child is in a jogging or running position, ask them to try and kick their rear end with each step.
#6. Lunges: To do lunges, your child will lower one knee by stepping forward to a 90-degree angle and stretch the other leg as far as possible. Repeat the same by alternating the legs at least ten times on each leg.
#7. Star Jumps: Star jumps are like jumps, but different only in the sense that the arms and legs will be outstretched, resembling a star when jumping.
#8. Bear Crawl: In this activity, the child will simply crawl like a bear on his/her hands and feet from one point to another and come back.
The list is long, but these are a few simple activities children can do to warm up.
Things You Should Know about Warm-Up Exercise
Warm-ups should be simple enough, but keep a few tips in mind.
#. Make sure they are not physically taxing for the child.
#. Make it a habit for the child to practice warm-up exercises before playing a sport or doing other physical activity.
#. You can walk with them for about 10 minutes; it will help in increasing the heart rate.
#. The child should do simple stretching exercises. Ask them to hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds before moving to another part. Also, make sure that they inhale deeply when holding the stretch and exhale when coming back to their original position.
Now, you know the key things about warm-up activities for kids, different warm-up activities and their importance, and tips to keep in mind before getting started. For more information, you should check out the Real School blogs.
The Real School is a virtual school to help children achieve all their goals and make them future-ready in no time. We do this without compromising on the quality of education with our expert teachers to help your children with any and every doubt they may have. Plus, there is complete transparency with parents about their children’s education, involving them in multiple projects, and so much more. Holistic development is our goal, and we make sure the child reaches there, enjoying each step of the journey.