June 17, 2024

3 Simple Exercises for Kids by Brett Klika, C.S.C.S

Research suggests active kids get better grades, are less likely to become obese, and are more likely to continue being active into adulthood.  The same research goes on to suggest active families create active kids! With television, video games, and other inactive distractions, sometimes today’s youth need some encouragement to get off the couch and get moving.

What’s more encouraging than a little friendly family competition that gets everybody moving, smiling, and making exercise part of a happy, healthy lifestyle? Try these 3 fun, simple exercise “contests” with your kids.

For video on these family challenges, CLICK HERE! (http://spiderfitkids.com/fit-family-challenges/)

#1: The Mobility Master
1.  Grab a broomstick or other rod about 3 feet in length.
2.  While standing, place the broomstick on your back, in line with your spine.
3.  The hands should hold the broomstick in the small of the back and behind the neck.
4.  Keeping the back of the head, upper spine, and tailbone in contact with the broomstick, bend at the hips as if you are bowing.
5. Knees can be slightly bent at the start, but cannot continue to bend.
6. If the head, upper spine, or tailbone lose contact with the broomstick, you are out.
7.  The winner is the one who can bend the furthest keeping everything in contact with the broomstick.

#2: The Get- Up Guru Challenge
1. Sit on the floor with the arms crossed across the chest.
2.  Using any movement strategy you wish, except for crossing the legs or rotating the entire body to face another direction, come to a standing position without using your hands or arms.
3. If you can get up straight from your rear to your feet without coming to your knees or crossing your legs, you are a Get-Up Guru!

#3: The Jumping Jack Speedster
1.  Set a timer for 20 seconds
2.  When the timer starts, perform as many jumping jacks as possible in 20 seconds.
3.  For a repetition to count, arms must remain straight, they must touch the sides of the legs at the bottom and the hands must touch above the head.  Crown the fittest family member!

A family that moves together, THRIVES together!

Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids (www.spiderfitkids.com) is an award winning personal trainer, author, and international motivational speaker inspiring men, women, and children around the world to create a culture of wellness in their home and live the best version of their life.  To contact Brett with questions or comments, email him at brett@spiderfitkids.com.

Introducing your Child to Running written by Hope Epton

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Introducing Your Child to Running written by Hope Epton

It seems as if we are waiting forever for our little ones to crawl, walk and eventually run. Once they start, it’s almost impossible to keep them contained. I don’t know about you but there are still times when I see my 2-year-old running, and inside I am cringing, waiting to see if she stops without a face plant.

I started running when I joined the Army at 17, so for 20 years I’ve been pounding the pavement (and occasional trail) for both physical as well as mental health.  If you are passionate about running as I am, you may dream of the day your youngster wants to emulate you. If or when that day comes, you may, as I did, tear up when they ask you for a pair of shoes, specifically for running. About a year or so ago my now 17 year old told me he was going to go out for the track team. I was beyond excited, and still wondered – what took him so long?

So how do you get your child involved in running?

Set the Example: The first step in introducing your child to running can be a simple as being an example. If your child takes an interest in running, why not bring them along? A trip to the track or even a park with a running path, for a short distance run may be empowering and build confidence. Over time, if they stay interested, you can add to the distance. Now, not all kids are going to want to continue to run, some may try it and find it’s not for them, remember to encourage without pressuring.

Make it Fun:  This Thanksgiving I registered my two year old for her first “tot trot”. Sure, it was only 50 yards, but lets face it, that is about her attention span. The important thing at this stage is exposure. Remember the days of kickball or Red Light – Green Light? Most kids don’t realize how much they run just playing, which is where activity habits are formed.  Find a local race or create your own event in your neighborhood. Keeping the atmosphere light and playful may just bud their interest in running purposefully. My son and I did a mud run together, and that I believe is what sparked his interest in running.

Attend a Kids Clinic: If your child is between 4-12 perhaps your local running club/group has a kids running clinic. I helped coach a kid’s clinic two summers ago and it was a lot of fun. Your child can get the basics, building a foundation for safe running. It also helps them meet other children with the same interests.

This article is written by Hope Epton. ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist. Follow Hope on her blog at http://SportyMom.me. Or via her facebook page http://facebook.com/SportyMomme, twitter http://twitter.com/SportyMomme or pinterest, http://pinterest.com/SportyMomme

Spring Break Family Fitness by Dr. Kent Sasse

Spring break is a celebrated time for families to relax and reconnect for a week. Whether families pack their bags or plan a staycation, activities abound to keep the family close, healthy and fit.  Begin the day with healthy activities, knowing that those habits will influence choices throughout the day.

Here are some day starters for families:

Do an activity challenge. For example, plan a pedometer contest amongst family members; who can reach 15,000 steps per day the quickest gets to choose the family meal of the evening or pick music for the car-ride across town. Holding a protein shake contest is also a fun way to evoke creativity and provides a platform for exchanging healthy information; implement a little friendly competition in who can make the best tasting out of healthy ingredients. Look up www.foodnetwork.tv for basic ingredient ideas.

Cook a healthy breakfast together before an all day activity. Allowing kids to create the menu or take a lead role turns a chore into fun. The same idea applies to packing a lunch.

Plan to spend an entire day outside together. Pack a lunch and write down a list of activities ahead of time that you can all do together.

All geographic locations have activities of which to take advantage. Warm or cold, city or mountain town, you are almost guaranteed to find hiking paths and bike paths. Many cities have spacious parks or river communities as well as the typical cultural downtown.

Here are a few ideas to look into as a family if you are visiting an area:

Hike: this can be in the form of snowshoeing, walking on a lakeshore, or an adventure in the mountains. Call the Chamber of Commerce for maps and advice. Be sure to also ask about current conditions to allow appropriate packing of clothing and other goods.

Hit the water: If you are fortunate enough to be near a body of water, spend a day on the shore and in the waves snorkeling, surfing or swimming. Ask the locals for their recommendations on the best and safest place to begin.

Go for a walk: walk your dog or explore an unseen area together. Walking is a great way to stay fit, and to view a city from a different perspective than the typical car ride. Search www.mapquest.com for a map of city streets, interesting landmarks or trailheads from where to begin.

Play games at your nearest school or park. Basketball, baseball, Frisbee, croquet, play on the swingset, and the list goes on and on. These activities require almost no money, and very little planning, but involve everyone. Do a quick search online for location for a list of locations and amenities of nearby parks.

Scavenger hunts and treasure hunts provide physical as well as mental challenges as problem solving is a key component. Look up organized hunts online at for example, www.geocaching.com. Or make your own list and organize it as a family or in teams.

Being in a society surrounded by fast food and sitting entertainment, it is easy to succumb to less healthy choices. Being active as a family creates memories of everyone working together as a group or team and will serve as topics of reminiscing for years to come! Be a trend setter and vow to get active on your spring break!

Dr. Kent Sasse founded Western Bariatric Institute and iMetabolic. He is also the author of numerous books and a featured speaker nationally in the field of weight loss.