I’ve never walked out of a gym feeling worse than I did walking in but let’s be honest, I know my borders when it comes to fitness. Those fancy pieces of workout equipment just don’t do it for me. Cardio Group Fitness Class allows me to leave my Type A at the door. I LOVE listening to someone else tell me what to do for one solid hour as the musical beats are bumping!
As parents, we can set a great example for physical fitness with our children, too. When we start early enough it becomes as non-negotiable as brushing our teeth. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Take a peek here for the latest statistics. This snapshot is alarming to say the very least, yet there’s good news. There is a ton of support for us from our friends at Healthy Way to Grow, a program helping kids from birth to 5 years old get off to a healthy start.
Their programs are currently hosted in 33 early care and education centers across the Kansas City Metro with plans to add at least 10 more schools in the coming year. Healthy Way to Grow breaks it down for us by fitness level in infants, toddlers and preschoolers. There are so many creative ways we can help shape our children’s fitness future. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy children ages 2 and older, participate in an hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day.
Here are a few ideas:
- Schedule family playtime. Take a walk or play a family game of tag after dinner each night. Choose activities that require movement, such as bowling, catch or miniature golf.
- Limit screen time. Experts warn that one to two hours of screen time a day should be the limit for children, but some are logging more than double that amount. Set boundaries, keep the television and electronic media out of your child’s bedroom and limit computer usage to school projects.
- Plant a garden. Caring for plants gives your children a reason to get outside each day. Learning how to grow a garden teaches the food system, while sampling the harvest encourages healthy eating habits.
- Chip in with chores. Rake leaves, shovel snow and do other home-maintenance projects as a family. In the end, your home will be better off and so will your family’s health.
Here is another fun fitness idea from What’s That Smell? (how fitting) to try while you’re at home or wherever you find yourself and the kids needing a quick boost! Just hang this cool fitness name chart anywhere to get moving any time of day! I just practiced my name, and this thing is no joke especially when you read the fine print at the top!
Dance Jam and Zumba™ are the kale to my quinoa! Of course, you will find me in the BACK row (where I belong). But even at the young age of 38, I still get a huge boost of self-confidence every time I crush a dance move! So, it only seems natural I would hope to pass the fitness love along to my children. These classes are a great way to keep fitness fun plus there are a ton of other added benefits such as leadership, respect, team work, confidence, self-esteem, memory, creativity, coordination and cultural awareness.
Imagine my excitement when we met the amazing, Miss Patti! She teaches a class called Zumbini® designed for children ages 0-3. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate, too! The class boosts gross motor development (moving to music and participating in other movement activities) and explores the many ways our bodies can move. These movements improve large muscle skills, balance and coordination. I’ll admit, Miss Jordyn (16 months) wasn’t so sure of it all in the very beginning. However, once she saw all the fun the rest of us were having, it didn’t take her long to warm up.
Miss Patti is currently teaching in Claycomo and North Kansas City. She will be launching more classes at the first of the year in other locations across the KC Metro. To receive her latest schedule and updates, please send her an email.
As they say, “all things in moderation.” As long as we’re having fun, who knows? Maybe one day we’ll see you, in the FRONT row of class!