Wild West kids!
Making fitness and the outdoors fun
Monthly Fitness Challenge
$5 per child
Wild West Kids' monthly fitness challenge is a month-long challenge for kids ages 5-12. The challenge includes both workouts and outdoor activities. All fitness levels are welcome! Kids complete the challenge to earn a unique patch that is different each month.
Full instructions are provided for all exercises! Parents don't need to have a background in physical fitness. Also, minimal equipment is needed for the workouts and activities.
Working toward earning a physical reward is great motivation to get and keep kids exercising, and to help them build the habit of exercise that they will carry into adulthood. What's more- completing a challenge builds confidence and is fun!
"Spring is Sprung!"
The May challenge is Spring- themed. It includes 8 workouts (approximately 2 per week), one recipe, and one outdoor activity. Fitness equipment needed is one heavy object per child (ages 5-8: 8-10 lbs, ages 9-12: 12-15 lbs). Heavy objects can be rocks, dumbbells, refilled milk jugs, etc. Registration closes 5/7. Patches will be sent out around the end of May.
How do I motivate my children to do the exercises?
Get creative! Think of your job more as a cheerleader than a drill instructor. Reminding your kids that they'll earn the patch once they've finished the challenge will help. You may need to employ a small reward to offer your kids after each workout. A healthy snack usually works well. Another idea, if you do the workout at a park, is to motivate your kids by telling them they can play on the playground/in the river/feed the ducks, etc. as soon as they're done with the workout. Doing all or part of the workout with your kids or doing the workout with friends helps, too!
Remember that getting your kids to work out will be most difficult in the beginning, while it's still becoming a habit. It will get easier!
How much space will I need?
As long as you have access to a local park or school with fields or playground, you have what you need! Some of the workouts may also require sidewalks or a local trail.
We're on a tight budget; will I need to purchase a lot of equipment or supplies?
We have tried to make the monthly challenge as inexpensive as possible. Many of the workouts are done with no equipment at all! For each month we will post the fitness equipment necessary before parents purchase the challenge.
May Challenge Exercise Explanations and Tips
Workouts can be done at any time and in any order throughout the month. Remember that this is a challenge! It is supposed to be difficult. Encourage your children to push themselves. If one part of a workout is too difficult, it is completely acceptable to stop for a few seconds and then keep going. Going slowly but finishing is much better than giving up! If a workout is truly too hard for your child, modify the challenge as needed to suit your child. On the flip side of the coin, feel free to make a workout more difficult by making distances longer or adding more repetitions as you see fit.
How to measure distances:
One option is to measure using your stride. First, measure your stride. An average adult stride is about one meter. Next, pace out the distance. Another option is to use the free app “Map my Run” on your phone: set to measure metric, and pace out the distance using the app. A third option is to use google maps to measure distance from one intersection to the next. You can use this to measure a distance in a straight line or around the outside of a park, block, etc.
Items to use for “Heavy Carry”
For ages 5-8, a good object to carry for the “heavy carry” sections of the workout will weigh about 8-10 lb. For ages 9-12, a good weight is around 12-15 lb. Just about any item of the right weight will work for the carry. Some options include a rock, a used milk jug/jugs refilled with water, or a dumbbell/weight plate. Be creative!
Jumping jacks: start standing up straight with feet together and arms down at sides. Hop and land with feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, while at the same time swinging arms in an arc out to the sides and ending overhead. Finish by swinging arms back down and jumping legs back together to starting position.
Sit-ups: lie on back with knees bent, cross arms over chest. Trying to keep feet on the ground, sit all the way up. Leaning back down, return to starting position. If that is too difficult, have a parent hold down feet or tuck feet under a heavy object.
Broad jumps: start with feet shoulder width apart. Swinging arms forward, make one big jump as far forward as possible, landing in a stable position with both feet simultaneously. Try not to stumble on the landing!
Side-to-side skis: start in a standing position with feet together, holding arms in front bent at roughly a right angle in an athletic position. Hop to the left side with both feet at the same time, keeping feet together. Then, hop back to the right side with both feet at the same time, keeping feet together. Hopping to the left and then to the right is counted as one repetition.
Front/Back skis: start with left leg forward and right leg back in an athletic stance. Hold arms in front bent at roughly a right angle in an athletic position. Hop up and switch left leg to the back and right leg to the front. Next, hop up again and switch legs to starting position. Hopping to move the left leg forward and then switching to move the right leg forward is counted as one repetition.
Star jumps: Start by squatting all the way down in a frog position with hands touching the ground in between legs. Jump up all the way to an upright position with arms reaching up diagonally and legs out to each side. Return to the frog position at the bottom of the jump.