Fitness and Kids
Kids fitness resources for parents and educators.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Winter Activities for Children to Keep Them Healthy
With childhood obesity becoming a problem, more and more parents are on the look out for things to do with their children to get them off the couch and doing something constructive. Some of you might find it a bit hard to do during the winter months, but we have found winter fitness activities for kids.
There is nothing wrong with getting them outside. There are tons of things that you and your kids can do in the snow so as to work some muscles and get some exercise in. One of those things is that you guys can build forts and have a snowball fight. Not only is it fun, but it's a game that causes the heart to speed up and so forth.
There are some winter sports that go on as well that you can be a part of. Many times, there are places that have basketball indoors so kids have something to do during the winter months. Some sports centers have indoor soccer with teams that kids can join.
Sledding is another thing that you can do. The whole family can enjoy it. The bigger the hills to climb, the more exercise you and the whole family get when you climb back up to slide back down again. Sometimes the simple winter things that we love doing, we don't even stop to think about the physical fitness that is involved.
The wii system is one last thing that can bring your family some fun. Unlike other video games, this one makes you actually do the actions so that you are getting somewhat of a workout. If you don't want to bring children out in the cold, then this is one option for keeping your children healthy.
Check out: http://www.fitnessandkids.com/wii_sports_bundle.html
Monday, August 16, 2010
Be an Example for Your Kids Eating Habits
A popular country song called “I’ve Been Watching You” is the story of a man who realizes that his son is imitating him—his good habits and his bad habits. If you want your children to adapt healthy eating habits, then you must set the example. Here are some ways you can use this priceless teaching tool with your children:
1. Include a variety of foods on your plate. How can you convince your children to eat their vegetables if you don’t put them on your plate?
2. If you leave something off your plate talk about why. Let your children know its okay to not always like certain foods or if you're allergic discuss that as well.
3. Avoid junk foods like chips and soda and opt for healthy snacks like carrot sticks and 100% fruit juice.
4. Shop together. Shopping is part of food preparation and a child can learn a lot in the produce section.
5. Always wash your hands before handling food and encourage your child to do the same.
6. When having sweets and treats like ice cream talk about moderation and portion sizes and not over eating, count scoops into the bowl, etc. If you tell your child a food is forbidden they will likely want it more. This may spawn habits of sneaking treats and then bingeing on them.
7. Avoid eating during television programs or in front of the television. It’s harder to keep track of how much you are eating when you are distracted by the television.
8. Drink plenty of water each day.
9. Have regular meals each day. If you skip lunch your child is likely to do the same. With sports activities, school and your professional responsibilities, you may have to make adjustments as far as the time you eat. But make sure your children understand that all three meals (yes, even breakfast) are important.
10. Take your time and chew your food. Often adults are in a hurry and kids pick up on this habit as well.
Author Denise Nero, Owner of www.fitnessandkids.com
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Childhood Obesity—What’s the fuss?
Some may feel like the recent publicity about childhood obesity is just hype. But childhood obesity can lead to bigger problems for kids when they grow up. Studies show that overweight children have a 70 to 80 percent chance of being overweight as adults.
And there are other risk factors, too. Studies show that overweight children have a great chance of developing diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
You can help your child from becoming obese or you can help him or her lose weight if they are struggling. Here are some things you can do.
• Don’t let your kids eat when they are bored. Teach them not to eat while they are reading, watching television, or playing video games.
• Don’t use food as a reward. Use more proactive things such as a new book, shopping time, manicures or pampering.
• Involve the whole family in eating and exercise. Do not single them out.
• Make slow changes so they do not feel attacked and hide food.
• Praise frequently for healthy choices and exercise. Stay away from all negative comments and connotations
• Set goals as a family. Don't make them scale related.
• Have more active days. Plan active days.
• Have them pack lunches with you so they will have items they will eat, steer clear of school lunches.
Remember that there are no weight loss medications approved for children. Childhood obesity is not just a North American problem anymore. Read more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4930264.stm.
Monday, June 28, 2010
What Causes Poor Eating Habits
- every child has different nutritional needs based on their height, weight, activity level, allergies, etc....
- a poor example will foster poor eating habits
- the food choices availablem if junk food is available more than healthy choices then junk food is going to be eaten more often
- a child's emotions may push them into overeating, this is a pattern you want to be aware of and watch out for early as it can be very problematic if it continues throughout life
- medical conditions and medication may affect a child's appetite inhibiting their ability to learn when they're truly hungry and not hungry, full and not full, etc.
- likewise frequent illnesses can lead to bad habits and repetive choices
- frequent stops at fast food restaurants and drive thrus
- too few meals during the day, in our hurried lifestyles meal skipping becomes more and more normal
- lack of food education when they haven't learned early what foods are good for them and what foods are not good for them and more importantly the cause and effect that can happen from it
- inactivity and poor eating habits seem to go hand in hand particularly in children
- struggles and arguments between parent and child over what to eat and not eat can lead to poor choice making
- anxiety and stress plays a large role in decisions about food even for children
Monday, March 08, 2010
The Political Debate over Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity has left out of the doctor’s office and is now in the political arena. The president has a council on fitness. Politicians have sounded the alarm about overweight kids and how they are affecting the health care system. The recent debate on health care included discussion on childhood obesity. Some claim that a random sample of high-school students in the United States can't touch their toes from a standing position as easily as their European counterparts. Some question whether American children can run or do push ups without getting extremely tired.
You will hear many comments about why kids are so heavy today:
• They are not tough enough. It was more difficult for our generation.
• Why do they not walk to school like we did? They all have cars.
• We worked for what we had. Now parents just give everything to children.
Why are we worried about our children’s weight? Are we concerned that there will not be enough men for the military because they cannot meet the standards. There are no statistics that talk about why someone is rejected from military service because of health problems that could have been prevented or if they were rejected because of injuries they sustained in an accident.
So what is fitness to us? Is it our children’s ability to do callisthenics or to win at a football game through excellent play? Do we want our children to have the body seen on magazine covers? Or do we truly want them to be fit and have a good body image? Do you approve of crash dieting so that your son or daughter can have a better body?
Real fitness is actually about more than the body. Real fitness is about being healthy physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. Even if someone can’t run as fast as others or has physical disabilities, that doesn’t mean that they are not physically fit. We have to consider our definition of physical fitness and fitness overall when deciding whether or not someone is fit.
Finally, encourage your children in whatever they are struggling with—physical fitness, social acceptance or if they are just trying to find their place in this world. The more you help your children, the better they will be and the less chance they have of being a statistic debated by Congress.
Author: Denise Nero is the owner of Youth Fitness Equipment . She specializes in giving parents advice in helping children develop a health lifestyle. She can be reached at
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Starting your Child on an Exercise Program
Exercise programs for kids are hugely important. America holds the not so illustrious title of the fattest nation in the world and this moment, our kids are poised to inherit that title. That is something that all parents would not find as a particularly comforting thought.
For those of you not yet convinced that an exercise program for your kids isn’t a priority: The American Obesity Association states the single largest factor in childhood obesity is lack of physical activity and excessive sedentary behavior—that is to say, watching too much TV and playing too many video games.
Why Start My Kid on an Exercise Program?
Outside of the social pariah status of the obese in our society, there are significant, easily avoidable health risks involved with obesity. The AOA lists common health conditions associated with children who are obese because of lack of regular exercise. These conditions include asthma, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, orthopedic problems, and most frightening, sleep apnea—a condition in which breathing ceases during sleeping. Obviously not permanently, but the effects are loss of focus and a significant increase in the loss of logical thought.
An exercise program for your children is so important because of the large amount of health problems associated with those are inactive—namely obesity. Since 1974, the number of children classified as obese under the age of 11 has increased more than four times; from roughly 4 per cent to over 16 per cent in 2000 with the single largest cause of obesity is lack of exercise.
To help your child avoid these health risks, not to mention the psychological risks of being outcast because of weight, you need to set them up on a regular exercise program. Children’s exercise programs are not hard to do—just get them outside or keep them inside, but focus on them getting active.
It’s important to realize than a children’s exercise program does not necessarily mean pumping iron—rather it has more to do with cardiovascular activities that burn lots of energy. Examples of great cardiovascular activities are running, swimming, rowing, canoeing, rock climbing—the list goes on. It also doesn’t need to be simply running—it can be a game of tag, catch, playing soccer outdoors; anything that gets your kids heart beating and gets them sweating a bit.
Research has also shown that obese children tend to be more depressed than other children who are fit. In addition, physical activities, especially cardiovascular activities can actually make you feel great. The so called “runner’s high” is caused when someone who is engaged a high amount of cardiovascular activity gets a massive dump of dopamine into the brain—a chemical that instills a euphoric state in the person doing the activity, a natural high.
It would seem logical that getting your child on an exercise program should be a paramount as a parent to ensure the health and happiness of your child. But along with the exercise goes a good diet, healthy relationships, staying active, and of course, laughing a lot. All of these things contribute to your child’s life, and an exercise program for your child is, in reality, just a piece of the puzzle.