Online Program

We have just launched our new online program, making our mindful movement education program available to anyone, anytime and anywhere.

You can view the details here and then sign-up here.

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 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 individually for $9.99 or through an annual subscription, $119, 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

Pilates’ side effects include an essence of re patterning and conditioning. For these outcomes however several elements are included into our 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

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.

Concentration

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

 

Kids Heart Pilates and the early childhood Curriculum, find out more

Curriculum