Aerobics may bring to mind complicated floor routines taught by svelte, spandex-clad instructors. Aerobic training, however, is much more than this. It's the heart-pumping, vigorous exercise that burns fat, so a certain amount is important for your fitness program. Some good aerobic exercises include bicycling, jogging or brisk walking, rowing, cross-country skiing, stair- or step-climbing, skating, tennis, and dance.
Some overweight children may have joint problems that make high-impact aerobic training difficult or painful. If this is the case, look into water aerobics as a means of getting a vigorous low-impact workout. If your child likes to swim, doing laps is also an effective form of aerobic exercise.
Younger kids will probably be bored with traditional floor aerobics, treadmills, or stationary bicycles. Try entertaining activities like jump rope or skip-it balls, a ball that is tethered to one ankle and spun in a circle while the child skips over it with his other foot. Younger kids also enjoy playing tag on hopping balls (the inflatable kind that your child sits and bounces on).
Because of the added resistance of their body mass, larger children burn off calories at a higher rate than children considered average weight who are doing the same activity. This is good news for kids trying to lose weight. The higher the intensity level of the exercise, the faster the calories are burned. However, if your child finds high-intensity exercise overwhelming or uncomfortable, it's better to lower the level and lengthen the time spent working out.