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Workouts and nutrition // Chris Dovale

How to get a kid engaged into a workout? – [VIDEO]

Posted by: | August 26, 2013

Finlayson Elementary Bootcamp

One of the most interesting and rewarding aspect of my job is to work with kids. In a way it makes me feel like I’m playing around with my own future child. They love it when something is presented at them and looks fun. However if the workout or game lasts too long, not only you’ll lose the child’s interest but you’ll also make them angry.

As part of my job, I go around schools and teach boot camps with kids. I also try to educate them about healthy nutrition and teach them how important veggies are to the human body. We all grew up loving fruits, candy and ice cream. What do they have in common? Sugar. Kids love sugar and reject veggies. So my goal has been to get them to eat more veggies. In order to do so, I’ve included a little game towards the end of each boot camp.

Kids love group activities. Because of their short attention span, you have better chance getting your child to work out when there are other kids around. When you get a group of kids, they don’t look at it as a workout. For them it’s a game, and a boring squat exercise that one person may do becomes a game when there are multiple kids involved. Kids are also competitive as they would wanna see who is having the hardest time going through the exercises. As you have them do a certain exercise you want to keep them engaged by having them count or repeat whatever you are saying.

In my case, kids love my French accent, which I take advantage of by teaching them how to count in French. And something as simple as that could make the kids laugh and smile while they try to repeat it in French. Push ups, sit ups and squats are some of the exercises you could do with your child.

One of the games I like to play with them is arm wrestling. They love it. I always make them feel like they are winning and it gets them engaged. An arm wrestling game could be something you use right before a break to keep them happy.

Finally before I end the workout, I give them a short speech about veggies and how eating spinach, broccoli,…would help them stay strong and more importantly, help them grow tall and big. Then I have them tell me what their favorite veggie is. As long as you keep the workout fun and do not take the serious approach, kids would be engaging and would probably look forward to the next workout.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001306884464 Eli J. Pacheco

    I love this approach. As a soccer coach, I know the kids like a little friendly competition. They’re also listening to us, so what we say is very important!

    • Trainerator

      Thanks Eli! I agree with that; in the ‘real world’ there’s competition & winners and losers, and sports are a great way to teach kids that success takes practice!

  • Joe_Beckman1

    Hamish, do you think it’s a good thing for our kids to witness us working out? I was doing an Insanity video the other day, and my daughter was watching me. She saw how hard I was working, and I thought to myself “that’s a pretty cool thing for her to see that staying healthy takes work and discipline.” I could also be freaking her way out though too. Thoughts?

    • Trainerator

      HI Joe, I do think that our kids should not only see our workout habits, but sometimes participate with us at their own level. It helps them learn that their body (and mind) can do far more than one may think in the moment. At least, that’s what I’ve seen! Just remember, she may be freaked out in one second, but then you might overhear her bragging about how strong her Daddy is later! :)