With each passing day, you must be feeling overwhelmed with concerns over your kids’ health, skills, and education. Due to safety reasons and other circumstances like COVID, exercising outside or engaging in physical sports might not be the ideal option for them. What should one do in this case? It’s simple, turn to the digital world within the comfort of your home.
In this age of rapid technological advancements and everything turning digital, having certain apps handy on your kids’ mobile phone is, therefore, a great convenience. At times, it is best to let them learn from apps and phone games that will help them and bring some fun into their lives while ensuring that your children are physically and mentally fit.
Continue reading, as we have prepared for you a list of the best fitness apps for kids to enjoy.
Importance of Physical Activity in Kids
Sports, physical education, and workout routines are important because they encourage kids to be active to stay healthy, thus preventing many major illnesses like heart disease and diabetes as they grow older. Staying active also builds up their muscles, tones their bodies, and maximizes bone strength, which helps them grow stronger.
Even if kids choose not to participate in sports throughout their life, it’s still important for them to exercise every day by playing games or participating in other physical activities at school, such as recess or gym class. The more fit a child is, the greater chance he or she has of living a longer life and being healthier as an adult, along with keeping them mentally more alert, focused, energetic, and confident. This also means lower frustration levels and better relationships with teachers and classmates.
If children are kept away from physical activity for a prolonged time, they might be headed towards unavoidable consequences of inactivity i.e. becoming less healthy and more overweight or obese over the years. But that’s not entirely it, as kids who don’t exercise often go through a stage of being restless, cranky, and unmotivated to perform various most basic tasks in their daily life. This can lead to increased anxiety and depression in their growing years, meddling with their self-esteem and confidence too.
As with most things in life, the idea that exercise is only beneficial to those who are already fit, to begin with, is false. Even if kids don’t participate in competitions or athletics, it is still important to be physically active.
What they won’t gain from such activities is awards or trophies, but they will develop their bodies and minds best suited for their future; to lead happier and healthier lives.
In other words, it isn’t about the sport or activity itself, but about the abilities and skills that are developed as a result of engaging in physical activity – regardless of the type.
Grown-up Fitness Apps vs Kids’ Fitness Apps
A grown-up fitness app provides new challenges, helps adults track progress, and challenges the user to continue to reach their fitness goals. Most adult fitness apps will offer a variety of exercises or workouts that vary in difficulty, length, and intensity. They usually offer classes that can be done at home or the gym, some of which are geared towards individual personal goals and some geared towards team exercise. They can also provide workout tips and information on nutrition plans as well as trackers for calorie intake and steps taken each day.
These kinds of apps are most often used by someone who has a specific goal in mind that they want to achieve, whether it is losing weight or gaining muscle mass. These apps can track progress in a way that allows the user to see their progress and how they are changing each week or month. This can help motivate them to keep striving to achieve their targets and not give up.
Kid fitness apps, on the other hand, are most often geared toward children in a fun and interactive way. The most popular kid fitness apps will have characters that children will enjoy watching and following along, during workouts. They tend to instruct kids on exercise techniques as well as some basic nutritional information to help them understand the value of healthy food choices. These types of apps usually feature an avatar that the child will use for guidance through different challenges or exercises while they are completing them. They are also most often accompanied by a storyline that guides the child in their workout routines, like a baseball player working out to build his arm strength or an astronaut getting ready for spacewalk testing.
Choosing a Fitness App for Kids
Choosing a fitness app for your kid can be a daunting task as it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by all the options out there, from the newest “intense” workouts to splashy health companies trying to sell you on everything from a quick weight-loss diet plan to specialized sports and equipment. Many apps are also packed with ads and other in-app purchases that might earn some cash for their developers but can leave kids feeling frustrated and discouraged instead of focused on their fitness goals. Luckily, there are certain things to look for in any fitness app that you search for your kid, so here are some important features to consider:
- Easy tracking of steps taken, calories burned, and quality of sleep
- A variety of ways for your child’s progress to be tracked including graphs or charts
- A way for you as parents to stay involved and help with exercises (if necessary)
- Encouragement that is age-appropriate e.g. an encouraging superhero or character
- Positive messages about staying fit
- Opportunities for healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating fruits and vegetables and avoiding junk food.
Although, it must be highlighted that not all kinds of physical activities are appropriate for every kid. It is important to know the difference between a sport or activity that athletic kids love versus something physically active that will keep them fit throughout life. Or, something that will help them develop their upper body strength while keeping them in shape and more agile later on.
Nonetheless, each child has a different personality and therefore will gravitate toward different activities. So, there are apps that allow them to have fun while they are doing their daily fitness routine.
Best Fitness Apps for Kids
Thanks to technology, you can now effectively monitor your child’s fitness progress. The best thing is that you can use these apps with your kids at home or even after school hours. That helps keep them engaged and entertained for longer periods which ultimately benefits both you and your children. So what are the best fitness apps for kids? Let’s dive into what we think are the best ones.
Sworkit fitness by Nexercise is a renowned name in the world of fitness apps that promotes strength and workouts for people of all ages. The app is widely popular for its friendly competition and rewards all those busy people who have a hard time working out in their daily lives.
Sworkit Kids, on the other hand, is another addition by the company that caters to the fitness needs of children. Aimed specifically at elementary and middle school kids from 7 to 14, the app can still be used by people of all ages, anywhere from a physical education class to your TV lounge. It is one of the best fitness apps for kids.
The app features randomized exercises with intervals, so there lies no possibility of following the same routine every day. Crab crawls, tightrope hops, and squats are just examples of the vast variety of fitness exercises featured for kids for them to stay active and moving.
The instructions for exercise routines come through audio and video as well as text, covering the aspects of strength, balance, agility, and flexibility. These workouts are performed by kids for kids and can last anywhere from five minutes to an entire hour, while also featuring a custom workout plan for you to create one that suits you best. The app does come with default plans but you can always decide the duration of the workout yourself.
There are multiple movements and exercises offered on the app that either the kid or the supervisor can choose based on their need, whether it is to stretch their bodies or perform balancing exercises. Older children may not need any supervision but it is advised for parents to keep a check on the young ones when they use the app, and ensure that you track their progress along the way. However, the tracking feature is not included in this app and you will require a different tool for it.
The Sworkit Kids app can be downloaded for free without any in-app purchases. It is available on Android, iPhone, iPad, and website.
7 Minute Workouts with Lazy Monster PRO
Developed by Index Zero, which is known for its kid-friendly games, this app is undoubtedly the most colorful and visually appealing fitness app for children. Featuring an animated character, the lazy monster, the app makes it carry out 30 different exercises in a fun and energetic way for kids to follow enthusiastically. The best part? The app is ad-free! There aren’t any advertisements to interrupt the exercise and the never-ending fun of working out to stay fit.
For the workout plans featured, there isn’t any need for any equipment or machine as the entire routine can easily be carried out anywhere, with some room to move, of course. The plans can be customized according to the bodily needs of your child, while the app itself features 10 manually crafted plans at fixed 7 minutes for best results. It is suitable for children above 4 years of age with adult supervision wherever necessary.
When following the animations, the workout consists of fun exercise music to make the kid move to the beat and have some thrill as long as the workout lasts. The app does a wonderful job at keeping the kids engaged and healthy, making them eager to come back and exercise with the tiny lazy monster.
The app saves the child’s progress to Apple’s health app as well as tracks the long-term progress without any third-party involvement within the app. It gives a positive boost and motivates one to keep working out, regardless of age and requirements, being one of the best fitness apps for kids.
7 Minute Workouts with Lazy Monster PRO is priced at $6.99 on the Apple App Store with in-app purchases of a personal trainer and customized workout plan, both priced at $0.99 each. It is therefore compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Mac, but not android or website.
Super Stretch Yoga
Another colorful addition to the list of best fitness apps for kids is the Super Stretch Yoga. The character, Super Stretch, uses animations, graphics, and videos to show the poses and exercises. What makes this unique is the element of storytelling built into the app’s framework as kids get to experience multiple narratives while moving forward to find the balance in their bodies. The perfection in their performance doesn’t matter but rather their best attempt at it.
A total of 12 yoga poses are featured in this app per session, with both the Super Stretch as well as real children demonstrating the movements. There also exists a secret code, NAMASTE, which initiates the exercise and helps the children find balance within themselves. There are 3 breathing breaks divided equally where the kids are asked to practice deep breathing.
Apart from the vibrant animations and engaging movements, the music is inspiring and the stars after each pose motivate the child for more, giving them a sense of validation after completion of the workout each day. Once 12 stars are collected, the child can pose for a team photo with Super Stretch and friends. While this is a wonderful way to get the child into liking yoga, there lies the possibility of them losing interest in it soon with only a limited number of poses available.
The idea of this app was pitched by none other than the remarkable yoga educator, Jessica Rosenberg. She, along with the creative team, built an app that would promote yoga and help people of all ages, skills, and fitness levels to experience yoga in the easiest way possible. This is why the app is completely free to download and use without any in-app purchases. Sadly, it is not available for Android and is limited to Apple, but stands as one of the best fitness apps for kids nonetheless.
Wuf Shanti Yoga Fun Machine
The name Wuf Shanti can be recognized as a character from a video series airing at local PBS stations of the book ‘My Grand-Dog was a Yoga Instructor.’ The idea behind this character is to promote yoga, mindfulness, balance, and wellness among children.
Wuf Shanti is an adorable dog that visits different schools, hospitals, and charitable organizations to interact with children there and conduct yoga activities. Ergo, the primary intention of this app is to get kids to start meditating and doing yoga poses to deal with their emotions better, think positively, and help them reach a new level of mental well-being.
The app encourages children and constantly keeps quoting positive mantras to keep them going, such as the positive thinking mantra, “Think Well to Be Well”, the gratitude mantra, “Smile and Say Thank You,’ and the kindness mantra, “Smile and the World Will Smile with You.”
The instruction videos featured on the app consist of both the Wuf Shanti dog and different kids in a few videos, but the app isn’t limited to just that. It consists of coloring pages, animals, and TV show episodes to keep the kid engaged with the app whilst learning a great deal about yoga movements. The only drawback is that the production quality of videos isn’t too great, but proves to be fruitful in introducing children to the world of fitness.
Being one of the best fitness apps for kids, it is entirely free of cost without featuring any in-app purchases either but is limited to Apple devices.
7 Minute Workouts Morning Kids
Based on the popular training program HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), the app follows the relevant exercises while ensuring that they’re suitable for kids. The workout isn’t as intense as it is for adults and is of lesser duration, but it is highly important to be followed in the correct sequence for maximum efficiency, impact, and reduced risk of muscle soreness. The program includes breaks, or intervals between the exercises, for the muscles to relax and prepare for the next exercise.
The app features multiple exercises being performed by animated instructors with detailed instructions as well for the child to do them adequately. It also keeps a track of all progress and rewards the kid with stars based on their effort over time, thus being included in the best fitness apps for kids.
The recommended age is anywhere from 4 to 11 years old but can be followed by older children to stay fit in their daily lives.
7 Minute Workouts Morning Kids is priced at $2.99 without any other in-app purchases or ads and is compatible with all the latest iOS devices
Basic Equipment for Kids
There are many fitness equipment options for kids out there and they range from expensive to just not fitting the budget. Here are some great options that will help your child enjoy being healthy without breaking the bank.
Garmin Junior Watches
These highly durable and engaging fitness trackers are ideal for kids, especially with multiple skins, such as Star Wars and Marvel, etc. The watch tracks footsteps, sleep, and daily 60 minutes of recommended activity, along with reminders about daily chores and homework.
The person jumping must move to generate movement – one leg off the ground at a time, then the other, then both together, then backward and forwards. This allows the child to continuously build endurance without any equipment. This also boosts their focus and stimulates their mind.
Who doesn’t love to jump? Surely everyone does but not more than kids. Jumping on a mini-trampoline is a fun activity that kids usually enjoy in their backyard. The best part is that jumping is an aerobic exercise and improves cardiovascular health in kids.
A stability ball enables kids to perform strengthening exercises that can be done on the ground or on their knees. The great thing about using stability balls for children is that they won’t be discouraged if they are not able to balance themselves and the kids are likely to keep working at it until they can.
Exercising on a Bike
A stationary bike would be another great option for your child, but it will also depend on their age. Most kids don’t get the same benefits from a bike as adults do, so it might not be the best option for them if they are young. If they are already old enough to ride the bike outside, then the benefits can be huge and once they master this skill, they will continue to use it throughout their lives. It will help them stay in shape, burn more calories every day, and feel better overall.
We’ve established the pros of staying fit and active from an early age, along with the cons of inactivity that the children might face growing up. Apart from physically working out, there are several aspects of health to consider and pay attention to, such as emotional and mental well-being of the children as they grow up. Keep in mind that not all children are the same and might need different apps and features to fully progress, such as kids with ADHD or similar psychological issues.
Numerous apps can help your kid stay healthy and active in day-to-day affairs, and we’ve highlighted the best fitness apps for kids and basic equipment to narrow down your search.