Bootie camp: Fitness classes for three year olds
THEY'VE gone from backyard games to burpees.
A Cabarlah woman is running fitness boot camps for children aged as young as three.
The twice-weekly classes involve children learning exercises like push ups, squats and burpees, as well as playing games.
Instructor Terri Thornton said with children spending more of their time after school in front of a screen rather than outside, organised physical activity had grown in importance.
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Mrs Thornton, who runs Healthy Body Solutions, said the children were having fun not doing anything different at her classes than they would experience running around in the backyard.
"Even though it's a push up, it's nothing different from a kid rolling around on the grass and helping themselves up," she said.
"In this day and age, there's a lot of sitting down, a lot of electronics, and they forget that fun can be active.
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"Times have changed. A lot of parents have a big issue with safety and letting kids run around in the streets.
"Even today the backyards aren't so big."
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that close to half of Australian children have at least one screen-based item in their bedroom, and only one in three get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Mrs Thornton said the kids, aged three to 12, were not using weights "or anything crazy like that", but were developing core strength.
"It's getting across to the kids this is why mum and dad do workouts - you need to stay fit and healthy," she said.
"There's nothing wrong with a burpee - it's not like I'm giving them five kilos to jump up and down with.
"When they come to me and I'm telling them to do a squat jump, in their eyes they're doing a frog or a kangaroo.
"Adults call it a workout, kids call it fun."
Ian Wickham said his two children regularly attend the boot camps and had a ball.
"They love the (Nintendo) DS's and iPods; it's a good chance to get them outside," Mr Wickham said.
"My wife and I both exercise, and we wanted to give the kids the opportunity."
For more information, see healthybodysolutionshighfields.com.