Parents can use health and fitness apps for kids to encourage their children to stay active, eat well, and have fun at the same time
A recent study determined that girls between the ages of 6 and 12 should walk at least 12,000 steps per day to stay healthy. Boys need to record 15,000 steps and engage in 60 minutes of sustained activity to maintain proper weight. Most kids who are part of a sports team or active during school recess will reach their daily step goals. But children often spend hours watching TV or playing video games which can have long-term consequences on their health. Parents can use the following apps to encourage children to stay active, eat well, and have fun at the same time!
Free Fitness Apps for Kids
Awesome Eats was created by the Whole Foods Foundation to teach children the health benefits of the different food groups. Awesome Eats is not a dull tour through the food pyramid. It is an addicting, fast-paced game where players stack fruits and vegetables to earn points. The difficulty increases at each level as children gain healthy eating advice they can use in their everyday lives.
MotionMaze encourages children to get off the couch and navigate through a series of puzzles. Kids need to walk or jog in place to move to the next level of the adventure. The app is powered by actual motion so children will need to move around the room to earn the highest score. A range of different mazes will keep children entertained and challenge them to beat their fastest time.
NFL Play 60 is a slick game produced by the American Heart Association. Players run and jump in order to move their avatars through the obstacle course. Children will love creating their own characters and outfitting them with logos from their favorite American football teams. Parents should be aware that the game runs slow on older smartphones due to heavy graphics requirements.
Eat-And-Move-O-Matic teaches elementary-school children the relationship between eating and exercising. It shows exercises that burn the most calories and the types of physical activities needed to counteract that giant cheeseburger you had for lunch. Kids can spin the Eat-And-Move-O-Matic wheel to learn simple exercises and the right portions for a balanced diet.
Max’s Plate lets kids play with their food in positive way. Boys and girls learn about food groups and earn points by creating the healthiest meals. Each plate must include portions from the five major groups in order to earn the maximum score. Children can also track their own diets and compare it to the healthiest meals.
Paid Fitness Apps for Kids
Fitness Kids ($2.99) teaches 25 easy-to-learn exercises to kids. Children can watch fun videos that demonstrate strength and yoga activities. The app focuses on playground activities like crab walking, sit-ups, and wheelbarrow which children can perform alone or with friends. The colorful graphics and upbeat music will keep kids entertained for hours on end.
Discover Your Body ($2.99) lets kids explore the human body in an interactive learning environment. Children assemble body parts and learn about the skeleton, brain, and circulatory system. The app also teaches kids about exercises that strengthen core muscles and the best fuel to keep our bodies running. This fun app will reinforce lessons that children are learning in school in an intuitive and engaging way.
iMuscle 2 ($2.99) is geared towards adolescents who want to learn more about physical training. The app focuses on strengthening exercises for major muscle groups. Users can even customize their own training regimen from a large database of activities. This app is most useful for young athletes hoping to improve their fitness as they join sports teams and develop regular exercise habits.
Iron Kids ($3.99) was created by the American Academy of Pediatrics to teach children how to maintain their bodies and prevent injuries. Iron Kids provides advanced training exercises that strengthen the core and improve posture. The featured 45-minute workout will also get children moving and sweating in no time.
Super Stretch Yoga HD ($1.99) uses kid-friendly graphics and music to teach basic yoga poses. Yoga can be fun and relaxing for children after a long day at school. Short videos demonstrate basic movements such as Downward Dog and Warrior Pose. Parents can perform the exercises with their kids and burn calories together!