I like to do the program as a minimum of twice a week to get the full benefits but you can do it daily if you like!
Exercise and Kids
The benefits of physical activity in children form a list a mile long but never has it been more pertinent than now as technology and screens dominating our lives. As we have become less active, our health risks are on the rise with obesity at an all-time high here in Australia.
Obvious physical outcomes of execise include reducing this risk and obesity related diseases, enhancing cardiovascular fitness whilst developing muscles, bones, joints and cognitive development. Social and emotional development also feature high on the list of positive outcomes, with children who participate in exercise showing a better ability to relax and interact socially. Increase confidence and ability to cooperate under instruction is also a major plus.
Once more, research has also shown that active kids go on to become active adults. Our new online program provides parents and educators with the convenience of teaching kids pilates in a classroom or home setting.
About the KHP Online Program
The online program offers a wide variety of sessions with different themes, focus points and age groups in mind.
From strength, to proprioreception, to mindfulness and calming to happy hippos and core strength, the sessions cover all the foundations of pilates and progressive development.
The programs are suitable for age ranges 1- 7 years offering progressive sessions as children grow and develop.
There are a total of 44 exercise sessions across the program, ranging from 5 minutes through to 25 minutes for the older ones.
The online program videos can be purchased through an annual subscription of $139 AUD or a monthly subscription of $25 AUD, offering a very affordable and convenient way to ensure children are getting the physical activity they need to thrive in the classroom and at home. Members will be sent monthly newsletters with advice and tips from Exercise Physiologist, Liz Dawson and affiliated child health professionals.
Aims and Goals of Pilates for Children
- Maintaining and development of posture, correct positioning through the lower back, shoulders and neck and therefore reduction in postural pathologies.
- Improvement and strength in standing and sitting positions and a stable base for functional movement creating a good base for the preparation of school.
- Long lean muscles, enhancing movement patterns
- Core stability and strength
- Improved balance, coordination and motor control development
- Highlighting developmental pathologies and comprehension difficulties
- Balanced strength and flexibility
- Injury prevention
- Enhanced functional fitness and ease of movement
- Introduction of healthy body awareness
- Non impact and safe physical activity
- Cross functional training for other activities ranging from ADLs to sports
- Performance enhancement
Pilates’ side effects include an essence of re-patterning and conditioning. For these outcomes however several elements are included into our program.
"We are really loving it!"
"My boys have been doing the Kids Heart Pilates videos since mid last year & we are really loving it. My eldest struggles with tight muscles from growing so quick & difficulty in calming down for bedtime. The movement & stretching he gets has been so beneficial. They are nice and short which helps to squeeze them in & to keep their attention. I love doing it with them & my 18 month old loves to join in as well! All kids should be taught the essential benefits of moving their bodies & the mindfulness that this type of exercise brings. Thanks Liz xo"
"Liz makes the evercises fun and interesting."
"Kids Heart Pilates is a wonderfully designed online program by the amazing Liz! My 2 girls 3 and 1 have been doing the program for the past 4 months and love when the exercises start. The online program is handy as you can do it in the comfort of your own home and don’t have to worry about packing the children up and getting organised to leave the house. There are 16 different online programs to chose from with varying abilities. My girls love “Tall Totts” The videos are the appropriate length to ensure focus and to not lose the girls attention with most of them finished by 15minutes. I would highly recommend the online program."
Relaxation and Breathing
Relaxation is the first step towards a body – mind focused session.
It is essential for a pleasant positive environment to be created for the children to participate in the exercises and employ active listening skills. The session begins with the breathing exercises. This promotes calm behaviour and encourages focus. Breathing is an integral part of each lesson allowing the children to relax their mind and body. As a result the children can concentrate on performing slow controlled movements.
Throughout the class if that focus is lost, breathing is used again in a seated, upright position with hands on heads to refocus the mind before any further exercises are undertaken. Deep breathing enhancing balance within the body by circulating oxygen, and promoting blood flow toward the active muscles improving contraction.
Alignment relates to the dynamic form of a person’s posture. The body acts as structural base of movement and creates actions or reactions based on outside elements with which the body comes in contact.
Using a movement program such as Pilates enhances and retrains the postural balance. If the alignment is out, it can have a large impact on the general health of the body and its quality of movement.
Using the mind to actively strengthen the body. Teaching the children to have self awareness when it comes to the body and the movement principles of the body.
Being aware of how you are moving brings another dimension to exercise involving the neural pathways in a two way action in which you both give the instruction to the muscles and receive feedback. This way you can be constantly aware of how you are in space and what you are doing with any part of your body. Visualizing the exercise relevant to each position is a successful strategy to employ with the children. This trains their bodies and their nervous systems to recruit the right combination of muscles needed in an exercise as well as enhancing the blood flow to the relevant muscles.
Centering; creating a good base for movement
The human body has a centre where the weight is evenly distributed for balance, and from which all movement is created. This encompasses the core muscles including the abdomen, lower back and buttocks.
Creating a strong centre will enhance the production of all movement and limit injury. Stabilizing the centre of gravity allows freedom of movement for the limbs without disrupting the core and therefore protecting the centre. This is crucial in the development phase of motion, reducing the incidence of injury.
Co-ordination and motor development
Pilates principles aim to allow the muscles to activate subconsciously, improving the quality and functionality of all movements. Each exercise demonstrates the recruitment of muscles used to support movements used in the everyday functions of life. Commencing Pilates at an early age is highly beneficial for injury prevention, performance and general well being.
Flowing and Controlled Movement
Flowing motion and ease of movement outwards from a core and center of gravity will create strong and safe movement. During the developmental stages of movement, creating flow and coordinated movement is vital in a changing and growing body.
(Pilates Institute of Qld, 2011)
"...easy for them to understand..."
"Maddys favourite exercise is by far the Flamingo's. Flamintos are one of her favourite animals anyway so she likes to practice them all the time. Alex likes the froggies the best.
Mostly so he can jump around I'm sure! He also likes to put a bath mat under him as a lilly pad when he does them.
Their favourite program is the Animal Lovers. They both like animals and it is fun to pretend to be animals for little people.
I also think it is easy for them to understand what to do as they already know the animals and how them move so can relate and learn quickly."
"It has been awesome to have an activity we can do together!"
"I'd been doing Liz's mums and bubs classes for a while when we picked up the Kids Heart Pilates program for my then 1 year old. It has been awesome to have an activity we can do together at home, see her pick up the moves slowly, and watch her balance and coordination and strength build.
And is there anything cuter than a toddler who 'shows you her muscles' after every pilates move?!
It's a great program that kids can grow with, and the lessons are the right length and tempo to hold their attention. Love it :)"