Health Tips: Keys to Raising Healthy Kids – Make Exercise Play

November 20, 2011

The third tip, which is key in raising healthy kids, has to do with their daily exercise. Since fitness is part of the recipe for being healthy.  Tip #3: Make exercise play.  Most kids don’t get enough exercise and many get no exercise at all. Jim Liston thinks he knows why: ‘’they’re not having fun’’.

In 1996 Liston founded CATZ – Competitive Athlete Training Zone – a California-based sports performance center that trains young athletes in low-stress, partnership-oriented environment. ‘’I tried to create a space that motivates kids to enjoy activity’’, Liston says. ‘’By and large, kids are motive by having fun with friends’’.

Soon parents were asking Liston to work with kids who weren’t athletic. When he did, he learned that the emphasis on competitive sports had made the playground a tough place for kids were not naturally athletic. Most withdrew from vigorous activities starting in the third grade. Liston recalls one study showed that by age 13, 70% of the kids are done with organized sports and likely to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. For these kids, Liston’s gyms are a safe place.

‘’In focus more on the ‘how’ than the ‘what’,’’ he says. ‘’What these kids is a place where they can develop physical skills with other kids – running, catching, throwing, even galloping and skipping – and be exposed to all sorts of physical activities with the pressure to perform.’’

Tip #3 is: make exercise fun. Seek out physical activities that don’t require to ‘perform’ in front of a group. If however an otherwise healthy child withdraws from sports and avoids all physical activity the help of a specialist should be sought.

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