Work out for strong daddies and stronger father-child relationships this Father’s Day
These exercises are both simple and fun!
With the arrival of a child in the family, it is sometimes difficult for fathers to find time for their fitness pursuits as they are faced with the demands of raising a child.
Based on a study published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, fathers who take a hands-on approach in parenting can positively influence the development of their children. Such dads help their kids improve their problem-solving abilities and reduce emotional issues such as sadness, social withdrawal, and anxiety.
Therefore, engaging in exercise and playtime together as father and child is an excellent example of hands-on parenting. For fathers who have busy work schedules, this is one great way to spend quality time with them while working out.
This Father’s Day, Yusuf Kay, Micro-Network Fitness Manager at Fitness First Singapore and father of seven-year-old Jasmine Kay, shares with theAsianparent why it is necessary to introduce the importance of fitness early into a child’s life.
He and his adorable girl also show you how to turn work-out sessions into fun-filled, family-bonding activities for father and child.
How Fitness Can Benefit Daddies and Kids... And How to Do This!
It is easy for children today to fall into the pitfall of sedentary behaviour, spending large amounts of time on television, video games and electronic devices.
However, children between the ages of two and eight are at a critical phase of developing the foundation of their physical skills. And it is important to start cultivating the habit of an active lifestyle at a young age.
Incorporating an element of fun and play will make exercises more enjoyable to children.
Start with establishing a routine at least three times a week to engage in indoor or outdoor play. It is also recommended for children to participate in moderate to vigorous intensity exercise for 60 minutes a day.
For indoor play, get creative and do bodyweight exercises using simple household items, like multi-coloured beanbags or the children’s play mat. Or you can simply switch on some upbeat music and boogie on for some quick cardio. Get imaginative and use stuffed animals, kitchen stools or old rags to set up an obstacle course.
For outdoor play, race your little ones to the lift, play catch or engage in a game of tag. Make post-dinner walks a regular affair and challenge your child to a game of neighborhood cat hunt.
Workout for Daddy and Kids: Four Fun Exercises
1. Keep those knees warm with squats and lunges
These simple exercises can help build leg strength that gives children a good foundation for all kinds of sports. Try forward, backward, and side lunges as well as classic squats. Level up by incorporating jumps into a squat sequence and have the kids hop after they rise up in between squats.
2. Work that core with push-ups
As a child’s muscles and bones are still developing, weightlifting may pose an injury risk. Simple gymnastics, popmobility or playing in the playground with monkey bars are a great way introduce body-weight exercises into your child’s routine. These are safe and effective, yet beneficial in strengthening their core and back muscles. Having your child on your back when doing pushups is also a good way for you to strengthen your upper body.
3. Get on all fours for some animal crawls
Crawling has rehabilitative and restorative effects that are often ignored. An exercise that requires the coordination of the upper and lower body, crawling is one of the best forms of strength, agility and mobility exercise.
Encourage creativity in the young ones by teaching them the basic animal walks such as crab walk, bear walk and frog jumps. Challenge them to conjure their own walks inspired by their favourite animals. Crawling exercises are also great low-impact options for adults, offering the joints a nice respite from high-intensity activities like running.
4. Get more out of jogging with your kids
Regular aerobic workouts, such as jogging, are vital to maintaining health and well-being in adults as much as it is for children.
Children are also natural runners, and can go on for long distances without having to stop. There is nothing as momentous and magical as setting and fulfilling distance goals with your child. Ensure that you pick the right, comfortable footwear for your child to prevent splints, blisters and joint problems. And make sure to stretch and hydrate before and after jogging.
In celebration of Father’s Day and to show appreciation for the daddies out there, Fitness First is offering an extensive line-up of special group exercise classes for daddies and children (above the age of 14) from June 11 to 17 across 19 Fitness First clubs island-wide.
From exciters such as Sparring with Dad BODYCOMBAT®, Family Tone™ and Father’s Day Run, pick from a variety of specially-curated family-friendly group training classes to try with your child here.
This article was contributed to theAsianparent by Fitness First Singapore.