Healthstyle Blog

FitKids: Getting Kids Fit with Football

If you enjoy watching competitive team sports, you’re probably familiar with the World Cup, football’s largest event. The finals of this major international football competition (also known as soccer) takes place every four years with 32 national teams competing for the title. This year the World Cup is taking place in Brazil, and soccer fans around the globe are eagerly tuning their televisions to stations that will broadcast these games.

While football is exciting to watch, the world’s most popular sport is even more fun to play. You don’t even need eleven players and a large rectangular field to do so. A football, a few cones or other markers (my sons use their shoes as markers), your kids and the backyard or a local park are really all that’s required to enjoy a bit of the game while getting fit in the process. When playing correctly, your kids will be using their legs, head and torso to pass the ball, move it down the field, and score goals while jogging or sprinting. Doing so will help them to develop better coordination as well as improve their cardiovascular health.

Play football with your kids and you’ll also help them do the following:

-Burn calories to lower their body fat and improve muscle tone
-Build their flexibility and endurance
-Increase their muscle and bone strength
-Improve their teamwork
-Learn to think on the go
-Increase their concentration

Getting Started
If you’re unfamiliar with the sport or the official rules of the game, you’ll find loads of information on these topics at the website. Once you and your kids have familiarized yourself with the basics, it’s time to play! Coaches suggest beginning with a 10 to 15-minute warm-up followed by a few drills emphasizing agility and speed. I’ve included a sample of each below.

Warm-up: Jog forward for one minute. Jog backwards for one minute. Skip forward for one minute. Skip backward for one minute. Shuffle to the left side for one minute. Shuffle to the right side for one minute. Do jumping jacks for one minute. Repeat each interval again for a 14-minute warm-up.

Agility: Set up four cones in a straight line, spacing them approximately nine-feet apart. In between each cone, set another cone a few feet to the left (you’re creating a zigzag pattern). While dribbling the soccer ball, your kid should move from one cone to the next. Repeat the drill five times with a one-minute rest between each set.

Speed: Set up cones at five-foot intervals. While dribbling the soccer ball, your kid should advance to the first cone and then back to the starting line. Then advance to the second cone and back to the starting line. Then the third, and so forth, moving as quickly as possible. Repeat the drill five times with a one-minute rest between each set.

If you’re just getting started, your kids may need to perform these drills without the soccer ball. As their skills improve, they should be able to begin maneuvering the ball while still moving quickly.

Have you been enjoying the World Cup ? Do you have a favorite team ? Is your favorite team still there ? Do you have any predictions on who is going to win. I would love for Brazil to win. Please share your thoughts on this I would love to hear them.



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