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Water Aerobic Ideas for Kids

Water aerobics is an ideal way to help your child get fit showed a 2008 study published in the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. The researchers found that group aquatic exercise is an excellent form of exercise for children and was even beneficial for children with disabilities.

Bring your child or children to the pool and use these ideas to engage them in their own personal water aerobics class to get them moving and keep them fit.

1. Warm Up

Warm your child up to being in the water by allowing him to engage in "free play" for five minutes before you begin any formal routine. Toss a ball into the water and throw it back and forth, or have your child dive for rings at the bottom of the water. If your child is not yet a proficient swimmer, make sure that he is wearing a flotation device to assist him, and instruct him to float and kick around to get warmed up.

2. Splashing and Kicking

Children love to splash and kick in the water. Start your water aerobic exercise by instructing your child to get a kick board, lean on it with her upper body and see how big of a splash she can make with her legs. Or, have her kick her way across the pool. Kicking is good cardiovascular activity, and should get her heart rate pumping and glutes warmed up.

3. Poolside Shuffle

The side of the pool is often a safe haven for children while swimming. But it can also be a good way to rev up the heartbeat and work the arms at the same time. Starting at one end of the pool, challenge your child to race by shuffling along the side of the swimming pool only. His arms should be the only thing propelling him forward. Head out on opposite sides of the pool, noting that whoever gets to the other end of the pool first wins.

4. Water Run

When your child runs in the water, it provides extra resistance. Running in the water will likely feel strange to your child at first, but encourage her to move her arms and legs as if she were running on land. If she needs added resistance, use a kickboard held in front of her to displace even more water and make it harder to walk.Have your child perform these drills in water that's about chest level.

5. Noodle Race

Pool noodles, the cylindrical flotation devices found at most pools, are excellent aerobic tools in the water. Instruct your child to straddle one as if he were riding a horse. Do the same, and then race around the pool. Remember that pool noodles are not certified flotation devices, only toys, and they should never be used in the place of a flotation device for a child who does not know how to swim.

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About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

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