Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Move Your Body"- Getting our kids moving!

When I was a kid, I was a piano student. I spent hours and hours sitting on my behind practicing. When I wasn't practicing, I was reading or watching TV. Now, I still love reading and watching TV, but I was not active at all as a child, and that had a negative effect on me.

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
- Self-confidence
- Self-esteen
- 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?

Don't forget to visit us on Facebook: Let us know how you encourage your kids to workout, and get motivation and support for your own workouts!


Tony Van Helsing said...

This is a great idea, childhood obesity and ignorance over food and exercise have never been more prevalent.

BabyWilt said...

Shew, my kids seem to never sit still :-) Well no, there are days where all they do is sit and play PS games but they have their structure and sports (football, swimming, karate .....) And as soon as it's light past 4:30pm they are outside until I call them in for dinner and bath time. They could teach me a thing or two actually ;-)

PS I love the line "a little sweat never hurt no body" ... BRILLIANT!

RunningOnCoffee said...

No kids of my own at this point, and who knows if/when I'll be an aunt. Only kids in my life are those of my friends and those I work with.

I think programs to encourage kids being active are great!! Growing up, I played soccer from 2nd grade until the end of high school. I did dance classes from maybe K - 3rd or 4th grade. I don't think I was ever a gym class superstar, but I wasn't afraid to participate. I never loved running in gym class, but I do now!

When I babysat, I always encouraged outdoor time, and I would play catch with/kick a ball around/or play tag with the kids. At my job...it's amazing to me how many kids clearly do not spend time outside or do not have that general knowledge of how to run around or throw a ball (But they'd be happy to talk to you about their Wii or DS, etc).