I had a terrible fear and loathing of P.E. class. I was always embarrassed. I couldn't do a pull-up. I couldn't do a sit-up. I couldn't run a mile. And, it never occurred to me to do something about it.
I didn't become active until my mid-twenties. I think of all the time that I wasted and really regret it.
So, today I want to talk about some of the efforts out there to get kids more active, and why it's important.
There is an organization called "Girls on the Run" that I absolutely love.
A program designed specifically for girls from 3rd to 8th grade, it is designed to help girls develop self-confidence, self-esteem, and to empower them. They train for 10 - 12 weeks for a 5K event, which they run with a mentor. I actually first learned of this organization running the 5K. It was very inspirational.
Besides training for the race, the girls also deal with topics such as eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, bullying, and some of the other programs girls today have to face.
The first lady, Michelle Obama, is also spear-heading a campaign to get kids more active.
Let's Move! is "a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams." (from the Let's Move! website)
Not only has Ms. Obama launched an entire program to help encourage kids to get active and live healthy lives, she recently teamed up with Beyonce. Here is Beyonce's Video, Move Your Body:
And here's Ms. Obama doing the dance herself with some D.C. kids:
Lastly, one of my favorite trainers, Shaun T., offers a program just for kids, called Kids' Fit Club. My son, who is 3 and a half and maybe a little younger than the target demographic, does this and loves it. It also comes with tips for healthy eating and reading labels. It's an easy way to make exercise fun and easy to fit in for kids.
So, here's a list of some of the benefits of physical activity for kids (not exhaustive, by any means):
- Their health
- Teaching them to set and reach goals
- Teaching them to work hard
- Strength in resisting peer pressure
There are many other benefits.
Do you have kids? Are there any kids in your life? How do you incorporate and encourage physical activity?
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