Are you fond of the outdoors? If so, then as a parent, it would be natural for you to want your children to be motivated in a similar fashion too.
When it comes to hobbies like mountaineering and long distance trekking in the hills, most parent’s are concerned about the safety and well-being of the children; and justifiably so!
After all, you cannot guarantee a child-friendly environment all the time. Hence, it is better to prepare your children physically and mentally for being out in the hills.
So what’s best for training your kids for the outdoors?
Being out in the hills and mountains is a life changing experience for any youngster. They develop a different positive outlook to life when they are in touch with the forces of nature.
As a hobby, it requires an improved state of fitness and stamina. Once they acquire these qualities, it is bound to give them self-confidence and self-reliance which is so important in every sphere of life.
So it is important for the parents to take steps to make the children fit for all kinds of outdoor activities in the hilly regions
Being Fitter can help with Being Safer
If your kids are physically fit they can overcome en-route obstacles easily.
The importance of safety and physical fitness can never be over emphasised. Being physically fit will make them safe and comfortable while doing any outdoor activity.
Importance of Sports kit
Just as you’ll want your kids to wear the right kinds of clothes for hill walking and have the right kinds of footwear, you’ll want to make sure you select the most comfortable and the best quality shoes for exercise.
Imagine how it would be if your kids were to accompany you in the hills but had ill-fitting shoes! It would not only slow them down but could also cause blisters.
Therefore ensure that the type of shoes that you select are comfortable and the best that you can get in your budget. Well-fitting shoes can make all the difference.
Once the basics are settled, there are many exercises parents can do with kids to get fitter for hill walking.
The focus should be on building up overall strength and agility and also strengthening of thigh muscles and knee joints.
Exercises Parents Can Do With Kids to Get Fitter for Hill Walking
1 – Running & Jogging
Building up stamina and muscle is important and hence regular running and jogging form the core activity for any youngster who wishes to be in the mountains.
Stamina will make your kids go on independently for a longer time and at the same time, enjoy the beauty of nature around them without having to stop for long rest breaks.
2 – Squats
Squats are the best way to build up muscles of the thighs and also strengthen the knees.
If the child is small or has some difficulty in doing this exercise, you can substitute it by making him or her sit up and down in a chair a few times.
3 – Step-Ups
If you have a staircase in your house, one of the best ways to develop the muscles of the legs and knee joints is to do step ups (and downs) a few times. This could be done slowly in the initial stages and then gradually increased in time and duration.
4 – Walk- Down Slopes Simulation
Remember coming down the hill is very tiresome and puts a lot of load on the knees. Therefore, it is important to develop the strength of the knee joint.
For this, it is best to practice going down an entire flight of stairs a few times every day.
5 – Knee-Bends
You can also train the children by doing knee bends while standing on their toes.
For this, they can stand next to a wall lift their toes while holding the wall and gently slide downwards taking the entire load on their knees. Then stay there for some time.
Repeat this 10 to 15 times.
6 – Standing on One Leg
This can be practised by playing various games that involve using only one leg at a time, like playing catch while on one leg. For an added challenge, you can make them skip rope with one leg at a time.
Children love such games, and it can become a very challenging activity and will help them maintain their balance besides strengthening the muscles for walking on the hills.
7 – Building up Hip Joints
It is a well-known fact that while walking upwards, our body is bent forward and at the same time while walking down, it bends backwards to maintain balance. This puts a lot of load on the hip joints. Therefore it is important to develop the muscles of the hip joints.
For this, make the children lie down on their back, bend their knees and lift the hip joints gently by six to eight inches. Then repeat this a few times. This activity will strengthen the hip joints and make them more flexible and strong.
Follow these seven simple exercises for a fitter and stronger family that are ready for hill walking.
Finally, the Importance of Motivation
Children will emulate what they see.
be a role model for them
If you exercise and get outside as a part of a fun activity, they will too, and will soon be asking you to go out more often!
Therefore, to motivate them, you should yourself be a role model for them.
The more they walk, the more they will gain confidence, and the more they will be motivated.
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