8 fun fitness games and physical activities for kids

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As parents and schools grapple with whether to keep children at home amid the wave of the COVID-19 omicron variant, a major concern for many is how it will affect other aspects of health. children. A new study shows that at the start of the pandemic, many tweens and teens stopped doing a lot of physical activity, and when they did, their mental health suffered as well. That’s why, in the midst of yet another COVID winter, now is a good time to look for new ways to get these kids moving and to make sure they’re having fun while doing it.

Between the ages of 6 and 17, children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. And while it’s easy enough to keep little kids active, with their natural squirming and squirming ways, older kids and teens are a different story. While many have often relied on organized physical education and sports programs to motivate their children, as parents and guardians you can do your part as well. First of all, you can exercise alongside them, adopting a healthy behavior. But when you’re busy and / or your kids really don’t want to be seen in public with you, let alone go with your family, there are other ways. If you have an avid gamer on your hands, you might even be able to convince them that they like to exercise.

Even before the pandemic, tech companies and game designers were thinking about how to play exercise for kids and adults with fitness trackers, virtual reality, and entertaining apps. Below are some of the best and most entertaining ways to get tweens and teens to enjoy getting physical – and they might not even have to look away from the screen to get it. To do.

When you can’t make it to a soccer field and you don’t have access to your own cavernous indoor gym, you can still practice dribbling and aiming (but not those hard kicks on the pitch. ) with these discs hovering above the ground. The foam padding allows them to be used around furniture and bare feet. LED lighting gives it the feel of a video game token in real life.

Buy it! Let Loose Moose Hover Ball Lightweight LED Soccer Balls (Set of 2); $ 29.99; amazon.com

This longtime favorite of competitive family members and budding dancers is guaranteed to make everyone sweat and end up laughing on the floor. Follow the moves set for the last shots and hit your mark to earn points. It’s easy to play with a Nintendo Switch Joy Con, but if you don’t have one at home, it’s also available as an app to use with PCs, AppleTV, and other streaming devices paired with your phone. .

Buy it! Just Dance 2022 Nintendo Switch digital code; $ 49.99; amazon.com

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 smartwatch for kids

If your child is between 4 and 9 years old and needs a little bit of motivation to get off the couch, this fitness tracker watch might inspire them. In addition to measuring steps like adult trackers, the Vivofit Jr. 3 encourages kids to complete their 60 minutes of daily activity to unlock games, quizzes, and other rewards. Parents can monitor their children’s activity from an app on their phone, and the whole family can participate in fitness challenges together. Friends or siblings who own Garmin watches can also connect (with your permission) to each other.

This smartwatch is relatively inexpensive for all the features it offers, making it a good option for teens looking to be more active. Venu Sq can monitor heart rate, sleep, stress, blood oxygen levels, hydration, and breathing. It comes preloaded with workouts, a running trainer, mindful breathing exercises, and sports tracking apps. Teens will also love that it connects directly to Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer so they can practice their favorite music without needing a phone nearby.

Buy it! Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition, $ 199.99 (orig. $ 249.99); garmin.com

Rather than snatching your child away from their Nintendo Switch role-playing games, you can introduce exercise into their play habits with Ring shaped adventure. Players attach one Joy-Con to the electronic ring and another to a strap that goes around one thigh, then they move around in different ways (running in place, crouching, tightening the ring against their abs, etc.) to advance their character. a beautifully designed world where they have to fight a very muscular dragon. There’s also a more fitness-focused Quick Play mode for non-adventure workouts.

Buy it! Ring shaped adventure, $ 51.65 – $ 69.99; amazon.com

If your older child wants to try yoga, strength training, barre, and / or HIIT classes, a subscription to an on-demand fitness app like Alo Moves is a simple and cost-effective solution (not to mention safety in the event). pandemic) way to get there. The subscription opens access to thousands of courses of varying lengths and levels, all shot in magnificent studios. Also, if you want to participate in the workouts as well, this will be a good deal compared to the in-person classes.

Buy it! Alo Moves membership, $ 20 per month or $ 99 per year; alomoves.com

While it’s not the cheapest option, it’s probably the furthest removed from a boring gym class. With a VR headset like the Oculus Quest 2, you or your child can escape your surroundings, enter whole new worlds, and use your body in new ways. With the popular Beat Saber game, for example, a player moves through a sci-fi landscape by slicing floating boxes with a lightsaber while moving to the beat of popular songs. According to the Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise (a real thing), playing this game is equivalent to playing tennis and burns around six to eight calories per minute.

On the other end of the tech spectrum, here’s a screen-less, inexpensive way for kids and adults to play exercise at home – the jump rope. If you haven’t tried this since you were a kid, you might not remember how quickly it raises your heart rate while testing your coordination. This speed rope can be adjusted to suit a variety of heights, and its ball bearings allow it to turn easily and quickly. Have your child try it out for a few minutes a day, and challenge them to see if they can build up their stamina, little by little, before learning new skills and tricks.

Buy it! Degol jump rope with ball bearings, $ 8.54 with coupon (orig. $ 8.99); amazon.com


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Richard V. Johnson