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303 kid-approved exercises and active game

303 kid-approved exercises and active game

Product Summery

Message to Parents, Teachers, and Counselors

I have built a career on teaching fitness to children, teens, and adults. Designing exercises for families must be a thoughtful process; no program should be “one size fits all.” Some movements  that work well for one particular age group could prove disastrous for another age group. Each age group is uniquely different physiologically and intellectually, and each group is motivated by  different factors. My mission as a family fitness specialist is to design exercise programs that provide and incorporate the latest research on health and fitness trends, take into consideration the  best practices for each family member, and then offer a deep understanding and a big-picture perspective of keeping families fit. This book has been written specifically for children six to eight  years old. The exercises in this book are age and skill appropriate for most children in this age range. This book is particularly useful if parents, caregivers, teachers, and educators participate in  the activities with the children. Children have approved all of the techniques, exercises, skills, drills, and active games.
Through creative physical activities and opportunities, I will teach you how to turn your dynamic and hectic lifestyle into a healthy, active one. This series of books, 303 Preschooler-Approved  Exercises and Active Games, 303 Kid-Approved Exercises and Active Games, and 303 Tween-Approved Exercises and Active Games, includes more than nine hundred exercises, and each  exercise is uniquely designed to fit the needs of a particular age group and has been “kid approved” by the over 75,000 children and teens I have taught throughout my twenty years of teaching  fitness. Turn the page to help you turn your child’s life into an active life; you have the power to help your children live fit and healthy lives.

Assessing the Needs of Each Child
Kids are naturally active. So what has happened in the last thirty years to change our children’s active nature to a sedentary lifestyle in which they are not burning enough of the calories they  are consuming? According to Medline Plus, many kids fail to achieve the minimum one hour of physical activity and exercise they need daily, due to overuse of television, video games, and  other sedentary activities. Inactive children are more likely to become inactive adults. Kids this age need physical activity to build strength, coordination, and confidence and to lay the  groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
Understanding Children’s Health and BMI
Before beginning any exercise program, you (or the parents of your students) should consult a pediatrician to determine each child’s current state of health. A pediatrician will address any  questions or concerns about a child’s health and well-being. If you’re concerned that your child is overweight, talk to your pediatrician. Determine if the child is progressing well in relation to  basic height and weight categories for their age group. Have a complete understanding of the child’s body mass index (BMI). This is a number that is calculated from a child’s weight and height;  it is age and sex specific. BMI is a reliable indicator of body fat for most children and teens. After BMI is calculated, the number is plotted on a chart with the age and sex of your child to  obtain a percentile ranking. The chart shows the weight status categories used with children and teens such as underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese.
Addressing the At-Risk or Overweight Child
If a child is overweight, it is something the entire family has to address. Families cannot depend solely on others—day-care providers, babysitters, personal trainers, coaches, and school  systems—to provide enough physical activity in a day for children, or to ensure that each child is getting the nutritional food they need in a day from the school cafeteria. There is no question  that family behaviors can contribute to childhood obesity and inactive lifestyles. Kids aren’t self-sufficient; they are not the ones who shop for food, drive the car to a fast- food restaurant, or set  the house rules about how much television they can watch. It is up to the adults to set the guidelines in your family to create an active lifestyle and to provide healthy food choices at home. This  task may seem overwhelming, but sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change a child’s life forever.

Nothing is more important than the well-being of your child.

Helping Children Become More Active

Exercise must be an essential part of every child’s life. Encouraging regular physical activity is another important thing you can do for the health of your family (as well as your own). Teaching  the children around you the importance of being physically active is an invaluable gift to give a child—one that keeps on giving for a lifetime.
Exercise will benefit children by:

  • burning calories, which helps in losing or maintaining weight
  • helping to strengthen muscles and bones
  • improving cardiovascular endurance
  • producing endorphins—chemicals that can help children feel more peaceful and happy and can increase self-esteem, mental clarity, and brain function
  • reducing the chances of cardiovascular diseases
  • decreasing the risk of serious illnesses later in life, including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure
  • reducing the risk of some cancers
  • increasing the chances of living longer
  • helping increase their creative development
  • teaching problem-solving skills
  • aiding in motor-skill development
  • encouraging family involvement
  • improving coordination skills
  • assisting in social development
  • teaching sportsmanship
  • teaching them how to follow basic rules
  • teaching them how to receive instruction and direction from someone outside the family
  • developing confidence
  • developing cognitive thinking
  • helping them become more aware of their bodies
  • teaching them about caring for their bodies
  • helping them sleep well
  • providing a healthy appetite
  • teaching them become more focused
  • helping them establish friendships
  • aiding them in developmental growth

Experts recommend that kids six to eight years old get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Kids in this age group should not sit inactive for two or more  hours.

This physical activity should include aerobic or cardiovascular exercise and muscle-and bone-strengthening exercises. This 60-minute period of time is a minimum, not a maximum, and should  be incorporated into a child’s day, seven days a week. The 60 minutes of exercise can be broken down into four 15- minute periods of exercise or two 30-minute stretches of exercise, as long  as the child receives at least 60 minutes of exercise in total. This exercise can be a structured activity such as soccer, riding a bike, basketball, swimming, dance, gymnastics, or any other heart- pumping sport, or it can be an unstructured activity such as tag, relay races, or any of the other activities described in this book.

Exercise for the Heart and Lungs
Most of the day’s physical activity should be composed of either moderate-or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. It is important to understand the definition of “moderate to vigorous  physical activity.” This refers to the intensity of the energy expenditure. Intensity in exercise is usually described as light, moderate, or vigorous. All levels of intensity will increase your breathing  and heart rate, and, as the intensity increases, you should sweat. The higher intensity increases your metabolism, which in turn burns more calories. In addition to burning more calories, your  heart becomes stronger just like any other muscle in your body.

For kids, a moderate to vigorous physical activity will increase their  breathing and heart rate, and may cause them to sweat. You can teach children about the different levels of intensity by  walking. Walk at a slow pace for 10 minutes. Check your heart rate by putting your hand on your heart, counting the number of beats it makes in 10 seconds, and multiplying that by six. That will tell you your heart rate—the number of times your heart beats each minute. Now increase your speed slightly, as if you are running late for an appointment. After 10 minutes you should  notice you are breathing harder, your heart rate has increased even more, and you may be perspiring. For vigorous intensity, take your speed to a jog or run. I describe it to kids as imagining  that you see a dog just about to run into the street and you want to stop him; that’s the pace for vigorous. Your breathing is rapid, but you are still able to talk; you should be able to feel your  heart rate without touching your chest; and the top of your head is probably sweaty if beads of perspiration are not dripping down your face. We need our children to work in the moderate to  vigorous range. 

Exercise for the Muscles and Bones
The heart isn’t the only muscle to benefit from regular exercise. Most of the other muscles in the body enjoy exercise, too. When you use your body, your muscles and bones become stronger,  and this allows you to be active for longer periods of time without getting worn out. Strong muscles are a plus because they actually help protect you when you exercise by supporting your joints  and helping to prevent injuries. Muscles also burn more energy than fat does when a person is at rest, so building your muscles will help you burn more calories and maintain a healthy  weight.

For the muscles and joints to move with ease, children need to be flexible.So for any exercise program, they need to learn to stretch. Being flexible may also help your child’s sports  performance. Some activities, such as dance or martial arts, obviously require great flexibility, but increased flexibility can also help people perform better at other sports, such as football,  soccer, or swimming. 
For all of these reasons, kids at this age need to exercise, but they do not need formal weight training for building strength. A child’s own body weight can help increase strength within their  bodies. Many exercises in this book will increase a child’s strength. For example, running, jumping rope, and balance exercises are all activities that will help build bone and muscle strength. I recommend that you do the muscle-challenging exercises in this book two to three times a week with this age group. Start slow and select only a couple of exercises; then as the children  progress, add more exercises.

The Scoop on Six-to Eight-Year-Olds
For the skills and exercises presented in this book, kids of this age are building on the foundations that were created when they were three to five years old. They are now moving on to more  complex movements and skills. They are moving from hitting a ball off a T-ball stand to hitting a ball that is thrown, they are riding a bicycle without training wheels, and, as hand–eye  coordination improves, they are catching a ball with one hand and throwing it with the other. Kids at this age may be able to do more than one sport in a day, their endurance levels are  increasing, and they can play longer and harder than they were able to at an earlier stage of development. This is the age for instruction and direction;  they can actually follow multitask  directions and enjoy playing in a group or on a team. This is the time to introduce kids to a variety of sports and to teach them —through skills and drill practice—the sports they like the most. 

Kids between six and eight years old are not miniature adults when it comes to an exercise program; they love the fun of a game, the challenge, and practicing a skill that will make them better  in their favorite sport. The physical activities in this book offer children all types of physical-fitness components. For instance, if the children choose some of the ball-handling drills, they will be challenging their hearts, muscles, and bones and becoming more flexible as they play. It’s easy to fit each type of fitness component into any child’s schedule.

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