No pain, no gain. Target heart rate. Pumping up. These are all terms we relate to fitness for adults. But do the same conditions apply to young kids? Why should physical fitness be a concern during the early childhood years? Don't young kids get all the activity they need naturally by being kids? Certainly, they are active enough to be physically fit!
Unfortunately, the statistics suggest otherwise. On average, kids ages two to five spend about 25 ½ hours a week watching television during a year, this is as much time as kids spend is school, and this number doesn't include time spent playing video games or working with computers. Some studies show up to 50 percent of American kids are not getting enough exercise.In the past, heart disease risk factors were rarely seen in anyone under the age of 30. Of equal significance are the facts that obese kids tend to become obese adults, and that kids with high blood pressure are likely to become adults with high blood pressure. All of this indicates that "just being a kid" is not what is used to be and is no longer enough to keep individuals healthy.
The Good News
Since scare tactics is not always the best means of motivation, here's the good news regarding physical fitness:
•Kids who are physically active and experience success in movement activities show higher levels of self-esteem and a greater sense of accomplishment.
•Physical activity helps kids get through the day without fatigue and makes them more alert.
•Fit kids are more likely to participate in sports, dance, games, and other physical activities that improve muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, cardio-respiratory endurance, and body composition.
The key to physical activity in early childhood is enjoyment. For adults, success might be defined in terms of an extra lap run around the track, an extra ten pounds lifted, or getting through an extra 15 minutes of aerobics. For a preschooler, success in any activity is simply a matter of how much fun it is!
What Early Childhood Professionals Can Do early childhood education report that most kids are involved in low-intensity, high-volume (long duration) activity each day and "this naturally occurring activity is consistent with the developmental levels of kids" .Therefore, teachers and caregivers need not be concerned with the type or intensity of the activity, as long as regular activity remains a part of the child's life.
Developmentally Appropriate Aerobic Activities
Physical activity, like everything else in kids's lives, should be appropriate for their level of development. Calisthenics and structured exercise regimens are not developmentally appropriate for young kids and are not likely to contribute to a lifelong desire to keep moving. The following are examples of activities by Montessori teacher training online promoting both fitness and fun for young kids.
Maroning- An energetic march around the room is a great fitness activity. You can provide an accompanying drumbeat or play a recording of a march. Challenge the kids to swing their arms and raise their knees while keeping the rest of their bodies straight and tall.
Rabbits and 'Roos- Kids love to pretend to be animals. Ask them to jump like rabbits and kangaroos, alternating from one to the other. Which is the larger of the two animals? Which would jump more heavily?
Giddy-Up- If there are kids in your group who can't yet gallop, challenge the class to move like horses. Those kids who can gallop will likely do so, and those who can't will simply pretend to be horses so that they can still meet your challenge and experience success.

Author's Bio: 

Lizzie Milan holds Master’s in Psychology Degree. She was working as supervisor in preschool teacher training.
Currently, she is working as course co-ordinator for early childhood care and education (ecce) & nursery teachers training institute (ntt) courses since last 20 years.