Get a Move On! 60 Minutes to Healthier Kids
Do you know how much physical activity your child gets during the day? If your child isn't getting the 60 minutes a day recommended by health experts, it could affect his or her well-being.
Children who get an adequate amount of exercise are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, build strong bones and get more sleep, according to health researchers.
Elementary school children who have higher aerobic fitness levels compared with their classmates score better in cognitive tests (knowing, thinking and learning) and are better able to pay attention, according to research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
As any parent knows, it can be a battle to get kids away from computer screens and engaged in physical activity. Nearly 20 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds are inactive, according to the most recent study from the Physical Activity Council. Some 80.2 million Americans age six and up, almost 28 percent, were physically inactive in 2013. “Inactive” is defined as a person who does not participate in any of the more than 120 individual and team sports and pursuits such as walking and running.
Unfortunately, your child may be getting less exercise in school or in after-school programs as school districts face budget cutbacks.
However, with a little planning you can help your child choose activities and sports that help him stay healthy and fit.
“After school, the first thing kids should do is something fun and enjoyable,” says Linice Kaiser, owner of Legacy All Sports in Lexington, central Kentucky's largest recreational and team gym offering competitive and recreational gymnastics, cheer, tumbling and dance instruction. “Active playtime is essential to children.”
The fun factor is key to organized activities. Children who enjoy the activity are more likely to engage in it, says Kaiser.
“When children are immersed in an activity and interacting with their peers, they're happy. And, they are gaining confidence, agility and strength,” says Kaiser.
Legacy All Sports provides classes, programs and activities for preschoolers through high school. Instructors trained in the most current techniques focus on the health and happiness of every child, while helping them grow in their favorite sport week to week.
For young athletes focused on developing advanced skills, Legacy's USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic program for boys and girls provides the training and foundation they need to advance safely.
Fall programs begin soon. Among the options for after-school and weekend activity:
Cheer and Tumbling – ages 3 to 18 Cheerleading and dancing helps develop strong, confident and spirited athletes. Cheer classes include conditioning, stretches, jumps, motions, tumbling and stunts.
Dance – ages 3 to 14 Classes for our tiniest dancers encourage them to jump, flip and twirl. As dancers progress, classes begin to add rhythmic movements and technical skills required for ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop.
Fitness Classes – ages 6 to 16 Fitnastics, coordinated by USA Gymnastics, is a year-round program and part of a nationwide effort to help get kids active and fit.
Girls Recreational Classes – ages 6 to 17 The fundamentals and techniques of gymnastics, including progressive basic skills, flexibility, muscle development and dance basics needed to be successful on all four women's gymnastic events: vault, balance beam, uneven bars and floor
Boys Recreational Classes – ages 3 to 18 Focused on developing flexibility, strength, coordination and body control. Boys learn the basic and higher-level gymnastic skills on all six of the men's Olympic gymnastic events: floor exercise, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar.
The Legacy All Sports holds open gym every Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ($15 for nonmembers).
Children 5 and up may play unattended and the little ones are welcome with a parent.
Exercise doesn't have to be a chore, especially for children. This fall, find the right activity or sport for your child and encourage healthy habits with tips from Legacy All Sports.
This article was produced for and sponsored by Legacy All Sports. It is not a product of or affiliated with WLEX-TV.
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