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Gesunder Geist, Gesunder Körper: Bekommen Kinder von Ihren Bildschirmen und auf Ihre Füße.


Today is National Kids Fitness Day in the US, which is a fun way to engage kids in getting more involved in regular physical activity. May also mark National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, with some of the focus in promoting healthy lifestyles for our children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children and adolescents ages six to 17 engage in 60+ minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. Yet research shows that only 24% of children are meeting this standard.

With the widespread use of electronics, households that require all caregivers to work, and the stressors of everyday life, it can be easy to let exercise fall by the wayside.

But movement can set us free. It can alleviate aches and pains, stress and illness. Exercise can improve confidence in children and boost mental health.

Teaching a child to move regularly, she advocates for a healthier life. Children sit a lot. They sit on their way to school, sit in class, sit and watch TV and sit to play video games. For some kids, the only upright movement they get each day is on their way to their next seat.

There is a strong connection between mind and body. When we move our bodies, our psyches can feel more cheerful and positive and as a homeschooling mom of two young kids, I see that daily. When my kids seem anxious, stressed, or frustrated, let's MOVE!

These short, active breaks often bring about a marked shift in my children's attitudes. Exercise can increase the production of endorphins ("happy" - neurotransmitters in the brain). These endorphins work to improve attitude, positive energy and focus.

I will be the first to admit that moving children willingly can sometimes be difficult. With 22 years of experience as an ACE personal trainer, and 10 years of "experience" as a mom, I have some tips and tricks to make exercise fun for kids and parents.

Children who don't usually want to be told what to do. After all, a bunch of rules aren't very fun. This is why play-based training is always best. In our home, workouts are done with the kids, through imagination, family, biking, obstacle courses and friendly challenges. Every child is different and every age brings unique interests, but fun always wins (this is something more adults can relate to as an exercise mindset, too). When exercise is fun, it becomes something the kids do, not something you have to do.

Here are four tips to get kids moving and enjoying it:

1. Make It Fun.

Exercise doesn't have to be a list of movements, reps, and sets. Instead, focus on fun activities, imagination, and challenges.

2. Get Excited.

Children will be according to your energy. Excited and enthusiastic about the activity and you will do the same.

3. Let the children take the lead.

A list of rules will drain the fun. If the kids get moving, it's a win. Let you have a say in the details.

4. Keep It Short.

Putting a time of demand over exercise turns it into a task. Instead, invite children to participate in short breaks and games throughout the day. Leave them asking for more. My kids almost always say, "One more game, mama!" My kids love stuffed animals, obstacle courses, and the outdoors, so our "exercises" are almost always through one or all of these things.

Here are some of our favorite "do anywhere" games. These mimic traditional exercise patterns so kids learn basic exercises without realizing they're always moving toward quality:

·         Rocket Blaster:  Delegate a child to be the "Captain." Everyone gets into a squat (or "starting position") and then holds it until the captain says "blast off". Everyone jumps as high as they can into "outer space." Encourage everyone to try and Get higher every time Emphasize the importance of a powerful crouch in order to boost your rocket Change the captain so everyone gets a twist.

·         Monster Jump:  an obstacle course with silly stuffed animals or monsters. Join the kids as they jump forward and backward over the stuffies. Make sure your feet don't touch the creatures or they will bite you! Emphasize body control and coordination.

·         Floor Is Lava:  Grab a red t-shirt, towel or piece of paper. Choose someone "lava regulator." Everyone casually walks around until the red object hits the ground. Suddenly, THE FLOOR IS LAVA! Bring your knees up and move quickly, getting your toes off the floor, until it cools down. Emphasize speed.

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