August 1, 2013

Planning a back-to-school fitness routine

Did you know that good physical health is a critical component of brain development? In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, year-round.

Health and fitness are integral parts of Kiddie Academy’s Life Essentials® philosophy, that’s why over 90% of Kiddie Academy locations nationwide have received certification as participants in the Let’s Move! child care initiative – a public statement of Kiddie Academy’s system-wide commitment to a healthier future for children.

As you prepare to send your little ones back to school this fall, don’t forget to make time for ongoing fitness activities to support brain growth, overall health and school success.

Here are some tips for establishing a back-to-school health and fitness plan that kids can use both in and out of the classroom:

Support a confident body image.
Your child is unique, and their fitness plan should reflect their individual situation. Show your child that regardless of body type, there are fun fitness options and goals they can reach. Identify activities your child enjoys and keep supplies readily available, such as jump-ropes and sporting equipment. A child doesn’t need to win a trophy to stay fit — there are a wide variety of fitness activities for preschoolers and school-age kids that don’t require a uniform. No matter what you choose to do, give them lots of hugs for encouragement along the way!

Make exercise a family priority… on the cheap.
Unlike many other activities for children, walking is one of the most affordable forms of exercise for parents and kids. Try adding an element of fun by walking through the woods, stopping to admire nature and tossing rocks into a stream. This makes the walk more appealing and educational!

Establish a fun and healthy menu plan for your family.

The eating habits you establish at home should follow your child into school. Kids feel and learn better when they fuel up with a wholesome meal. If you’re packing lunch for your children, talk to them about making good choices, and allow them to assist with preparation. If meals are included at your child’s school, don’t be afraid to check on the menu to ensure the facility provides nutritious options. If the menu doesn’t meet your family’s needs, speak up!

Remember, learning and encouraging health and fitness at a young age is a gift that lasts a lifetime!

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