Raising Healthy Children

Both my husband and I participated in sports growing up and throughout our adult lives exercise has remained a priority. So it’s a unique challenge for us that two of our three children have absolutely no interest in physical activities.

The positive thing is that they aren’t bound to a video gaming system or their electronic devices. Now, don’t get me wrong, they spend their fair share of time playing various games, but they are also very much into drawing, reading, writing and creating things out of old boxes. All of which I encourage them to do because I love to see where their minds take them and how their skills are growing.

On the other hand, I am challenged to get them physically active. I’m sure some of you can identify with this problem.

I’m fortunate enough to train and instruct classes designed to help my clients achieve better health. Some of them have been active all their life and thrive off of the ‘high’ that physical activity brings them. Whether it’s the sense of accomplishment, the release of stress, or the sheer joy of the activity, this type of person is upset when life gets in the way and keeps them from exercise.

But there’s another population that engages in personal training and takes classes – and those are the people who don’t really enjoy exercise at all, but are doing it because they know they have to. For this group, excuses can come a little easier, and in general a missed workout isn’t the end of the world.

For two of my three children, I fear that is who they will be as adults.

Healthy living starts in childhood.

Healthy living starts in childhood.

Let me pause here and make something very clear to you as my reader…
– I don’t expect my children to love fitness just because I do
– I do expect them to make healthy choices to live a balanced life
– I don’t push my children to participate in activities that aren’t of interest to them
– I do challenge them to try new things and push themselves in areas they enjoy

I think we can all agree that life is BUSY. Sometimes entirely more than we’d like it to be. When that happens, we must make choices, and more often than not those activities we find less desirable take a back seat. This isn’t limited to exercise, it can include preparing meals, cleaning the house, getting the laundry done…you name a task you don’t enjoy doing and I guarantee it’s one that’s easy to find an excuse to leave it for later.

I’m guilty of this. If you know me you know one thing that I hate most in life is cleaning glass shower doors! I would rather be stuck doing laundry for days than spend the 15 minutes it takes to clean that shower.

The point is, when time is limited we prioritize our activities based on the pleasure they give us.

So as parents of inactive children it’s so important that we encourage our children to try as many new activities as possible.

Maybe organized sports isn’t their thing, but what about going for a walk or taking a bike ride. Your both getting active and this is an excellent time to connect about what is going on in your child’s life.

Or find a way to engage them in an activity you enjoy…my husband goes boxing twice a week and takes two of our kiddos to Ju Jitsu classes which they both love (even the kiddo who hates being active).

Think back to your last hotel stay…what do the kids want to do the minute you check in? Head to the pool! Find a place that they can go swim.

Don’t discount the video games that require active movement. We’ve spent many nights looking like fools dancing and playing a variety of sport games with our Kinect. Even the kiddos who don’t like playing traditional sports are up for a virtual foot race, volleyball game or boxing match.

It’s possible that getting them active might require a bit of investment. I was fortunate to come across a great deal on a treadmill so my oldest daughter now picks her favorite episode of Friends or Everybody Loves Raymond and hops on to get some steps.

Bottom line is that it’s my job to help them find something they like. If they don’t find an activity of choice while growing up, life is likely to get in the way and rather than exercise being a pleasurable experience, it’s going to be something they dread.

We focus on making sure that our children get a good education and have solid moral values, let’s also equip them to live a healthy life.

New KidFit Class in Lombard

Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure to lead the KidFit classes at CustomFit in Lombard.

During this time I have witnessed the children grow both in physical strength and abilities but also in their self-confidence and teamwork skills.

The classes focus on teaching the children easy ways to stay active and stress the importance of healthy living.

I feel now is the perfect time to add to the class offerings for KidFit and starting Wednesday, March 4th, KidFit will meet from 4:30 – 5:15pm at CustomFit.

The format of this class will be slightly different in that rather than completing interval training, circuit workouts and team relay activities, the students will be engaged in a series of Pilates and Yoga exercises designed to increase flexibility and core strength.

Classes are open to all children ages 8 – 13 and cost $125 for a 10 class punchcard. Classes meet Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays 4:30 – 5:15pm.

KidFit classes are filling quickly so please contact me via email or by calling 574-387-1344 to reserve your child’s spot.

KidFit Flyer

Active kids grow to be healthy active adults

Top Five Reasons to Get your Kids Active NOW

As adults we all know how hard it is to break bad habits, and it’s just as hard if not more difficult to develop new healthy habits. This is why I firmly believe the sooner we engage our children in physical activities and healthy eating, the easier it will be for them to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are the top five reasons that as parents you should make sure your children are engaged in daily physical activity:

1. Children who exercise have better self-esteem and self images. Children like to succeed. They like to feel good about themselves. Exercise is a great way for them to accomplish new tasks and take pride in their accomplishments. I think this is especially important for those children who don’t necessarily like to participate in team sports. It’s not always about competing against others, it’s much more about improving yourself.

2. Regular physical activity helps to build and maintain strong, healthy muscles, bones and joints. As our children develop and grow it is so very important that their body structure is also healthy. This helps to maintain good posture and prevent injuries. Building a strong structure from a young age will help through the years to come.

3. Exercise improves the quantity and quality of sleep. We are an overstimulated society. Between multitasking and the various medias available to all of us, it can be hard to shut down at night. Exercise helps to calm the mind, and the physical exertion helps to release the necessary energy so when it is time for bed one can get a quality night’s sleep. This is incredibly important for developing bodies and minds. Sleep is an integral part in staying healthy…when we are worn down, our immune systems are down and we are much more likely to catch a bug that is moving through the school.

4. Children who are active report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and in general are in a better overall mood. As an adult you may not understand how exercise can be a stress reliever. It actually might stress you out to think about how you are going to get your workout in. But for children, exercise is a great answer for leaving thoughts of homework and disagreements with siblings behind. Taking in fresh air and being physically active is a healthy release for the pressures children feel. Parents always want happy children, and exercise is a great way to make sure they keep a smile on their face.

5. Exercise helps improve motor coordination and enhances the development of various motor performance skills. As a mom of a child who had moderate fine and gross motor delays, I know the importance of children learning body awareness while developing a strong core and balancing skills. We often take these things for granted but it is so important in a child’s development process.

December 29th – January 2 I will be holding a KidFit Christmas Break clinic from 11 – 11:45 everyday. This program is designed to help jump start your children to adopt a healthy lifestyle or to encourage them to continue making good choices and to stay active.

During each session the children will participate in a number of fun activities, teaching them a variety of skills. We will challenging them with games and tasks that will improve general body strength, cardio endurance and stability. Throughout the sessions we will discuss the various muscles being used as well as how to make healthy choices.

Looking for more information or what to sign up? Drop me an email or text/call 574-387-1344.

Getting Kids Active with KidFit

Do you have a child who is more into video games than sports? One who would rather watch tv than ride a bike?

You would think as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor I would have children who are always on the go. Unfortunately, I, like many parents, have to pry the video game controllers and other electronic devices away and firmly push them outdoors.

And when it comes to sports, my husband and I generally make the executive decision to enroll them in various programs. Basketball has been a positive experience, but baseball, well… not so much!

This all got me thinking that if I am struggling to keep my non-athletic kiddos active, other parents are probably struggling too. Let’s face it, not all children are drawn to team sports which is generally a great way to keep them active.

Starting November 18th I am going to offer a six week KitFit program at CustomFit. The class is designed for boys and girls ages 9 – 13 and will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from  4:30 – 5:15pm at 218 E. St Charles in Lombard.

The class will be a combination of fun activities to get children interested in staying active and equip them with things that they can do at home to stay healthy.

Positive habits that are formed now will follow your children through their life so don’t wait to get them interested in activities that will keep them healthy and happy. Register today by calling 574-387-1344 or emailing jenn@customfitpt.com
Cost: $125/session, $50/each additional child
Nov 18 – Dec 23
Jan 6 – Feb 12
Feb 17 – March 26
March 31 – May 7