Follow The Leader


Whether you like it or not, the kids in your life look up to you to show them the way. Exercise & Sports Science Australia reports that “evidence has found children mirror their parents’ everyday activity levels, which brings a whole new meaning to ‘setting an example.”

The way you react in certain situations such as being cut off, stubbing your toe or even the way you speak to others, our little sponges are watching and listening.

This is a great thing in regards to exercise. If they see you out walking the dog, going for a run, lifting weights at home, stretching in the living room, getting sweaty or even taking the stairs instead of a lift, they will want to copy.

Go on and give it a try but remember to do it because you want to make the right choice. If you associate exercise with “too hard”, or “that stuff is for gym junkies”, guess what your children will learn and then in turn pass on to their kids?


Jamie Jones

The Most Important Ingredients for Training Kids

What I Have Seen When Training Kids: The Most Important Ingredients

Jamie Jones, Fitness Instructor, The Kids Coach

I have been training kids, aged 5-12 years of age successfully for over 6 years. The one component that has made my program successful is the inclusiveness.  Inclusiveness gives every child in the workout the ability to express their full potential and leave the session feeling like the champion they are. Underweight and shy kids, overweight and embarrassed kids and everything between have exercised with me. Kids that have had their school phys. Ed teacher tease them, autistic kids, and bullied and belittled kids have all had a positive experience with training with me.

This is the beautiful things about kids, they are highly adaptable and can turn their world around quickly with a couple of positive experiences.  All you have to do is walk around your local shopping centre and you can see the increase of kids who are heading in the direction of obesity. EVERY child has the right to be cheeky, playful, energetic and happy. That’s what they do naturally. That is what exercise can provide children. Getting children to move releases great endorphins and gets their natural happiness bubbling on the inside.

This is the main driver and motivation behind my wife and I have creating The Kids Coach. We want to give every child the potential to release those great endorphins and become happier, healthier little humans. They can start in the comfort of their own home or bedroom and simply get moving. As a kid, I used to exercise in the bedroom of my house as I didn’t want anyone else knowing I was doing it (mostly because I was overweight) and that was the start of my fitness journey. We want to provide children the opportunity to exercise at an early age, to build their confidence and have a fitness journey that will last a lifetime.

Core Strength For Kids: Guidelines and Exercises

Core Strength For Kids: Guidelines and Exercises

Roisin Sullivan, BSc(OT), Occupational Therapist, The Kids Coach

Core strength and muscle endurance is important to allow kids to perform all the activities they are required to do daily, such as carrying school bags, walking, running, catching, playing outside, fine motor tasks and even sitting still throughout the day at school. It overrides everything children do, and then overrides everything they will eventually do as an adult.

As occupational therapists, we see an increasing amount of children being referred for “poor core strength” by their teachers, family and doctors. Unfortunately, in today’s era of children not being as active, there is an exponential decrease in their core strength too.

The core muscles are essentially all the muscles between the back and the abdomen, up to the shoulder and down to the hips that work together to help you child stay upright and move well. When they’re strong, they give your child a nice, stable base to work from.

When those core muscles aren’t strong, we start to see:

  • Inability to sit still on a chair, including frequent rocking, fidgeting and hooking arms over the chair
  • Kids preferring to lie down to watch TV, lying over their desk or lying down on the mat at school instead of sitting
  • Slouching of the body or looking to “lean” on surfaces
  • Kids that fatigue easily
  • Balance issues, including losing balance easily or general clumsiness
  • Kids avoiding climbing activities, such as on forts, playgrounds or trees

Once kids improve their core strength, things become easier for them. They can complete school tasks easier, excel a bit more in their sports activities but most importantly, their “play” becomes easier and more enjoyable.

So how can you improve your child’s core strength?

The key is to make it fun so they not only enjoy doing it, but continue to do it.

Activities that can help improve core strength include:

  • Using unstable surfaces: for walking, climbing, crawling movements will challenge their core
  • Doing things on one leg: simple games like throw and catch, dodgeball or brushing teeth on one leg
  • Planking positions: such as static planks, moving plank exercises and bridging exercises
  • Doing lots of functional movements: pushups, squats and lunges all challenge the core muscles
  • Animal walks: pretending to be a range of animals such as frogs, geckos, crabs, bears and ducks. These all help to challenge your child’s core strength.
  • Playing kids games such as hopscotch, skipping and twister
  • Any fun movement that gets them out of a sedentary position!

Change the Guidelines?

Change the guidelines?

Jamie Jones, Fitness Instructor, The Kids Coach


It seems as though the technology world has won. A recent study shows that we should accept defeat. We should allow more screen time? Maybe, maybe not.

Is our world so screen dominant that under 2 hours per day is unachievable? I disagree! Is this the easier option? Absolutely not. My 3 year old doesn’t watch 2 hours a day. Has he? YES (who doesn’t love movie marathons on a wet day?) but the “normal” day takes effort. Walking, going to a park, playing out the back, riding bikes, kicking the footy are activities we do (between my wife and I) each week. Doing this gives our boy the chance to develop and grow as all children used to.

I certainly agree that we are in a highly technological world, but changing recommended guidelines due to being “virtually impossible” does leave some grey area. Maybe the title should read “We have to accept and rise to the challenge”?

What you didn’t know about kids and exercise.

What you didn’t know about kids and exercise.

Roisin Sullivan, BSc(OT), Occupational Therapist, The Kids Coach

We all know the familiar effects of exercising for kids. Much like us adults, there will be sweat, there will be a spike in heart rate and there will be some excess energy being burnt off.

But what about all the less obvious effects of your little ones jumping, running and moving about?

From a developmental perspective, the movements that come from exercising are a great way for your kids to work on their gross motor skills, balance, proprioception, coordination, sequencing and so many more essential developmental skills. It helps to generally teach their little developing brains how their body should be able to move in life.

And that’s just some of the physical benefits.

There’s also some pretty important emotional and behavioural benefits to kids engaging in a bit of sweaty time.  Kids that engage in regular physical activity have a wide range of mental health benefits including better emotional regulation, a better ability to concentrate, increased self esteem and a good sense of achievement (Taylor et al., 1985). Much like us adults, they also get a surge of “feel-good” endorphins after a workout.

With more kids not moving as much as they should be (Hills et al., 2011), it’s really important to make sure kids continue to do some sort of regular exercise to develop them in a well rounded way.



Hills AP1, Andersen LB, Byrne NM. Physical activity and obesity in children. Br J Sports Med. 2011 Sep;45(11):866-70. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2011-090199.

C B Taylor, J F Sallis, and R Needle. The relation of physical activity and exercise to mental health. Public Health Rep. 1985 Mar-Apr; 100(2): 195–202.