As an Aunty to several beautiful nieces and nephews, I’m always looking for new activities to do to keep them all fit, healthy and happy. Pilates is a great activity for kids. It improves flexibility, strength, balance and posture, assists to maintain an ideal bodyweight, assists with injury rehabilitation, encourages participation in regular exercise, and improves self esteem among many other benefits.

Whether your child is the next Olympian or you just want to encourage involvement in some type of physical activity, Pilates can be suited to any fitness level.

Pilates for adults often requires a great deal of concentration and focus but with children Pilates needs to be fun and more about just moving. It’s about developing good body awareness and good mind body control by incorporating Pilates based exercises and principles into play. This can be achieved by using lots of tools such as foam rollers, gym balls and chi balls; as well as making up games like renaming the exercises after animals.

Pilates is similar to karate, ballet and gymnastics in that it does teach children a level of calm, coordination and control. Children who don’t otherwise find a sport or physical activity appealing might like the gentle, slow nature of Pilates exercises. The effects may even translate to children being more coordinated and therefore more likely to participate in sport.

The health and wellbeing of today’s children is compromised by a culture of convenience, advancing technology and increasingly sedentary activity. Encouraging children’s involvement in a wide variety of physical activities can only be a good thing.

As children grow and develop, this is when they formulate the physical attributes that they will take through life. Pilates can teach children the correct way to walk, sit, stand and bend; thus alleviating pain and reducing the potential for injury both now and into the future. When trunk stability is absent, sitting and standing for extended periods in school can be difficult. If children are expending their energy maintaining stability, their stamina for homework and other after school activities may be depleted. A strong trunk conserves their energy and allows them to be more attentive at school.

I’ve compiled some Pilates exercises for you to try at home with your kids;

  1. An oldie but a goodie – Practice walking around the house with something balanced on your head like a book. This encourages being tall and lengthening through the spine to stop slouching postures!
  2. Balance on something wobbly like a pillow, especially on one leg – This helps to improve balance and reaction times.
  3. Sit with a partner with your legs out straight, put your feet together and hold hands; taking it in turns to pull one person toward the other and stretch out the back of your legs and back. Don’t bend your knees!
  4. Lie on your back now, with your feet up against your partners and try to sit up and touch hands and then lie back down again.
  5. Sit up nice and straight on a gym ball and practice lifting one leg up at a time – this also encourages good postural control, good balance and quicker reaction times.
  6. Lie with your feet up on a gym ball and practice lifting your bottom up into the air – this will encourage good strength and assist with running and jumping.

There are many other ways to include Pilates exercises in your children’s play to assist their development and encourage ideal fundamental movement patterns both now and into the future.

Lisa Rogers is a Physiotherapist and Pilates Practitioner at Smart Health Training & Services 

smarthealth_thinker_jpeg

Web: https://www.smarthealthtraining.com.au/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Smart-Health-Training-and-Services
P: (08) 8293 1100
E: reception@smarthealthtraining.com.au
Address: 12-22 Richmond Road, Keswick

You might also be interested in

  • Lotus Kids is a Saturday program available for all NDIS participants aged 4 to 15. This program focuses on functional, play based learning in a safe and supported environment which promotes communication, movement, friendships, and learning.​ Each session we have a range of group and individual activities to support the children to develop daily living skills, friendships and communication. Lotus Kids also access the community as a group, either doing shopping, attending community events or going to a playground.​ Lotus Kids runs in three locationsModbury (twice a month)Plympton (twice a month excluding dec/jan)Hove (once a month)Seaford (once a month) For more information on Lotus Kids visit www.lotusproject.com.au/lotus-kids

  • Active Healthy Kids Australia The Kids in Adelaide team are very keen to provide loads of professional information to our Adelaide families about healthy living, healthy eating and healthy thinking. We have been fortunate enough to have Natasha from Active Healthy Kids Australia join us. In the blog below, Natasha introduces AHKA and tells us what it's all about, and we have lots more information planned for the future! Make sure you stay tuned to find out some great facts and ideas on how to keep your family active and healthy. Who are Active Healthy Kids Australia? What do we do? And why is it important? Active Healthy Kids - this is something we as parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, brothers, sisters, teachers, coaches, neighbourhood leaders hope to see in our immediate families and within our broader communities. But unfortunately given that only one out of five, 5-17 year olds, currently meet the national physical activity guidelines (i.e. accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday) this is becoming quite rare as we face an inactivity epidemic. So why should we care if kids are meeting the physical activity guidelines or not? Children who get at least…

  • With a decade of experience behind us, Funtime Kids Parties prides itself on providing unique, fun and fully interactive entertainments for children. Whether for birthdays, school fetes, festivals, corporate events or anywhere else children need entertaining, Funtime has a range of exciting formats to offer. We cater for children of all ages. Our Nerf, Water and Archery parties are perfect to impress the difficult pre-teen crowds. For younger groups, or events with a range of ages, our Discos, Beyblade, Lego, Bubble and more our events are ideal for all types of kids 5 and above. As a family owned business, we are committed to providing a professional, high quality service to all of our customers. Our small team of trusted staff members have all received their Working with Children check giving you total peace of mind. We have extended our safety record with a strident Covid safe policy.  Our experienced team can organise an exciting children’s party anywhere in Adelaide and surrounding areas. We’re also happy to travel, so please give us a call to enquire if you live in an outer lying region. Funtime offer a wide range of quality entertainments and events to agree with any budget. Funtime Kids Parties…