People acquire many of the healthy habits that shape their adult lives during childhood.

One of the most important of these is the habit of doing regular physical exercise, which ensures the sustainability of physical and mental health.

Best cardio for kids

Encouraging children to be physically active can be a great way to help them stay healthy, happy and successful. And one of the most beneficial types of physical activity is cardio exercises.

In this article, we'll discover the most fun and beneficial cardiovascular exercises for kids!

What Are Cardio Exercises for Kids?

Cardio or aerobic workouts are exercises that aim to increase the heart rate to a specific target and boost the respiratory rate while using large muscle groups in the body rhythmically.

Such activities improve the performance of vital organs, such as the heart and lungs, while improving many aspects of health, including mental health, sleep quality, body weight, and metabolism.

Even if It is important to regularly do cardio exercises for kids, according to the American Heart Association, up to 60 percent of American children have problems with cardiorespiratory fitness.

So what are examples of cardio activities for kids? Let's discover!

11 Cardio Exercises for Kids of All Ages

It's important for children to get aerobic exercises each day to improve their cardiovascular health and endurance. Therefore, children should be encouraged to do these exercises regularly.

Entertainment is the most effective form of motivation for children. So let's learn the ten most fun cardio exercises that make time fly for your kids while performing them:

1. Exercising With MentalUP

When parents want them to exercise regularly and systematically, the best cardio for kids are games and workouts that they can quickly adapt to their routine and consistently perform.

Cardio exercises for kids

With MentalUP's fitness module, which offers exercise categories, such as cardio, stretching, balance, fun exercises, and strength, children of all ages can easily exercise with any device at any time!

MentalUP's fun cardio exercises deliver workout content visually and audibly with animated characters chosen by the kids. πŸ₯³βœ¨

With MentalUP, kids can start exercising in seconds! They can choose from daily training plans in 5 different categories, or let MentalUP create a daily workout plan from exercise categories instead. πŸ’ͺ

It’s time to move, enjoy, and improve! πŸ‘Ÿ



Running is the most popular cardio workout for people of all ages. The most important reason for this is that running is a vital skill that we often use in the natural flow of life.

When we need to move quickly from one place to another, we instinctively start running. So it's easy to turn running into an exercise as there is no learning curve. And also don’t forget that you can transform it into a family activity or group exercise by using running games for kids.

best cardio exercises for kids

You do not need any special equipment for running exercises. You just need to go outside and find a suitable area to run. Of course, specially designed running trails can help you track goals, but they are not essential.

Before you start running, make sure your child prepares their muscles with warm-up exercises. While they are running, make sure that their run is rhythmic and at an appropriate pace.

3. Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks are practical and effective aerobic exercises for kids that promise great fun. Star-shaped figures spark children's imaginations and encourage them to do more. In this way, they can improve their endurance, balance, and leg muscles while bringing their heart rate to an optimal level.

fun cardio exercises for kids

The jumping jack exercise is pretty easy to perform.

  • First, bring your legs together and put your arms at your sides.
  • Then bend your knees slightly and jump into the air.
  • While in the air, spread your legs wider than shoulder-width apart and simultaneously extend your arms above your head.
  • Finally, jump back to the starting position to complete the move.

4. Cycling

While bicycles are practical and healthy land vehicles for people of all ages, they mean much more than that for children. Often, they see it as a game rather than workout for kids, so they can cycle for hours without stopping. They also naturally develop their muscles while pedaling.

cardio workout for kids

In order to perform these aerobic activities, children must first have a bicycle suitable for their age and physical development and the necessary safety equipment. Then, find an area that is far from traffic and has safe ground.

Competition or group games encourage children to exercise. Therefore, biking with their friends can radically increase their enjoyment.

5. Frog Jumps

For those looking for an answer to the question, "What are some easy cardio exercises for kids?", here is a great example from MentalUP! Frog jumps are a great and practical cardio workout for kids that sparks kids' imaginations and requires no equipment. It develops children's leg muscles and increases their balance ability. If you wonder how to improve balance, this will be your best answer.

For kids, this exercise is pretty easy to master. It is enough for them to imitate the jump of a frog from one branch to another.

  • Squat with your legs wide in a frog-like posture.
  • Jump forward and up, land on your toes, and squat again.
  • Jump back to return to the starting position.

6. Aerobic Dances

Performing an action in accordance with the rhythm of music is a basic instinct of human beings. Therefore, dance, which is a unique combination of art and physical effort, is an exercise as old as humanity.

Aerobic dances are the specialized versions of this type of art including activities specific to body exercise. They contribute to the development of many cognitive abilities, such as coordination, balance, and memory, as well as many muscle groups.

Aerobic exercises for kids

There are various musical pieces and activity patterns specially arranged for aerobic dances. With the help of an instructor or tutorial videos, kids can easily start improving themselves with them.

They are especially encouraging for children as they allow them to be part of a choreography that they can present to their families and friends.

7. Obstacle Course

Obstacle courses are a series of physical challenges that children must overcome, often against the clock.

An obstacle course includes physical elements, such as running, climbing, jumping, crawling, and balance, as well as sometimes mental tests. That's why it's one of the most exciting cardio workouts for kids

cardio games for kids

Your imagination is the limit when designing an obstacle course for your child. Just make sure you don't use extreme obstacles that will endanger their health. Some of the obstacles you can use are

  • Cones to run around,
  • Sticks to jump over,
  • Chairs to crawl through, and
  • Baskets to throw an object, such as a ball, into.

8. Jumping Rope

Jump ropes are a fun form of aerobics for people of all ages. Many adults miss the wonderful taste of competition jumping ropes created among children.

They support physical development as they require regular use of leg and arm muscles, and cognitive development as they improve abilities, such as hand-eye coordination and reaction time.

cardio activities for kids

To perform it individually, children just need to hold the jump rope with both hands, swing it over their heads, and jump over it.

In a group, there is usually a pattern in which two children swing a rope by holding both ends, while a third child tries to jump over this swinging rope for as long as possible.

9. Swimming

Swimming is much more than exercise. This vital life skill, which saves us from the danger of drowning in the water, is also the basis of many water sports.

But it is also very valuable and fun as an exercise. Even kids that are hesitant at first to go into the water won't want to stop swimming once they get used to it.

Beneficial cardiovascular exercises for kids

The prerequisite for swimming is naturally learning to swim properly. Rather than simply staying afloat, it takes rhythmic muscle movements and regular breathing to turn it into an exercise.

When they are sure their children are proficient in swimming, parents can encourage them to swim in safe areas.

10. Hopscotch

Here is one of the best cardio exercises for kids in many ways!

Hopscotch, which is a game as well as an exercise, triggers the physical and cognitive development of children as a whole by improving motor skills, balance, coordination, reaction speed, and muscle development.

On top of that, it promises one of the most fun experiences they'll ever have.

fun aerobic exercises for kids

To start the game, everyone has to throw a small object on the first square. This object must remain within the square's boundaries; otherwise, their turn will pass to the other player.

Players must jump on one foot to the first empty square, and then to each subsequent single square, and double-foot from side-to-side squares. But they must make sure they skip the square where their objects are.

On the last step, they must jump with both feet and turn their backs, and start jumping on the same squares on one leg again from the last to the first.

When they reach the square with their objects again, they must bend over and pick up their objects and complete the course by continuing to jump on one leg.

11. Stair Climbing

Sometimes, we do cardio exercises without even realizing it while performing our daily routines, such as mopping the floor or walking the dog. Climbing stairs can also be a convenient and effective way to get your daily dose of cardio.

However, doing cardio workouts in a targeted way will maximize their efficiency. Therefore, in order to turn climbing stairs into an exercise, it is necessary to make it rhythmic, systematic and targeted.

easiest cardio exercises for kids
  • To make stair climbing an effective cardio workout, try to climb at a steady pace, taking one step at a time and using your whole foot to push each step.
  • If you want a little challenge, increase the intensity by taking two steps or carrying a weight like a backpack.

Benefits of Cardio Exercises for Kids

Cardio exercises are not just muscle-building workouts. They provide a complete improvement by feeding the performance of vital organs, such as the heart and lungs. Some of the main benefits of aerobics are as follows:

Unlocking Well-Rounded Skill Sets

Since aerobic activities require the use of many abilities together and effectively, they improve essential skills, such as fine and gross motor skills, balance, endurance, concentration, memory, hand-eye coordination, and social emotional skills.

MentalUP's fun exercises, when performed regularly, make a holistic contribution to children's development by enabling them to unlock their mental and physical potential. Moreover, it allows you to continuously measure progress with performance reports! 🧠πŸ’ͺ

With MentalUP's game library that offers 150+ brain exercises and 200+ cardio exercises, your kid's cognitive and physical development adventure turns into a fun journey. πŸ€©πŸ‘


Supercharging Mood and Performance

Increased oxygen intake triggers an increase in mood and performance. This effect increases children's success in simple and complex processes that require the use of physical or cognitive skills.

Supporting Physical Fitness & Health

A fit body does not get sick easily. Regular exercise plays an important role in preventing many vital problems, such as obesity, diabetes, muscle and bone diseases, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.

Boosting Mental Health

Cardio for kids strengthens mental health by increasing self-confidence and social interaction. In addition, many hormones produced as a result of exercise have a direct effect on mental processes.

Benefits of cardio exercises

Frequently Asked Questions About Cardio Exercises for Kids

We've covered the most useful cardio exercises for kids so far, but if you still have questions, here are the most frequently asked questions.

How often should my kids do aerobics?

Many authorities recommend performing at least 60 minutes of cardio training for kids daily, at least three days a week.

What kind of aerobics should my child participate in?

According to the unique needs, interests, and habits of each child, any of the activities mentioned above can be included in their exercise routine.

At what age should my kid be introduced to team-building sports?

Important authorities like American Academy of Pediatrics state that kids aged 6 and above can successfully perform team-oriented cardio exercises for elementary students.

How can I help my kid to be involved in more physical activities?

You can offer them different alternatives, such as yoga poses for kids, that will make exercise enjoyable for children, or you can set an example for them by doing cardio exercises yourself.

How to help kids and teens get moving?

If you can align the exercises with their daily routines and habits, you can give them a reason to act.

Are home cardio apps for kids beneficial?

Cardio apps are very useful as they combine many aerobic exercises in one, are always available, and allow performance tracking.

Cardio games for kids are important for their physical and cognitive development. But there are many more ways to support their development! πŸ”πŸ‘€

MentalUP's fun, educational, and scientific games created by academics, pedagogues, fitness trainers, and game designers help children develop and improve the essential skills they need according to their age group! πŸŽ―πŸ’―

MentalUP's exercises contribute to the development of children in areas such as balance, strength, stretching, and especially cardio, while its brain exercises provide great improvement in skills such as memory, concentration, critical thinking, logic, and problem-solving. πŸš€βœ¨

Discover MentalUP to create a healthy tomorrow for your kids by enabling them to gain useful habits! πŸ₯³