Friday, October 26, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 26

Worried your kids will get hurt out on the field?  Walking, gardening, bicycling, dancing, swimming, and golf are activities with the lowest injury rates.  Don't let fear keep your family from being active!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 25

Did you know that regular physical activity reduces symptoms of anxiety & depression in adults, adolescents, AND children?  An active family is a happy family!  #makekidsfitnessfun

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 24

Want more out of your workout?  
For additional health benefits it may be time to:
  • Increase your intensity - After 3-4 weeks of training at the same level, it may be time to bump it up a notch! Add an incline, increase the resistance, or try a new program on the treadmill/elliptical/or arc trainer to increase your intensity to continue getting results!
  • Increase your frequency - Not ready to increase the intensity?  No problem!  Just hit the gym, or head outside one additional day each week to keep seeing improvements.
  • Increase your duration - Not ready for the intensity, but too busy to add a day?  Just increase your duration (or amount of time you exercise) by 10 minutes for additional health benefits!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 23

WarmUp before you PowerUp! 
It is important to warmup before strenuous exercise and even before stretching! Spend 5-10 minutes walking, lightly jogging, or even skipping to reduce the risk of injury.  Ways to make the warmup fun?  Play your family's favorite song so you get in the mood to move!  #letsmove #makingkidsfitnessfun

Monday, October 22, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 22

Looking for a way to make crunches for kids AND teach them about nutrition?  Sandwich sit-ups do the trick! Start in a standard sit-up position, lying on your back, knees bent, feet on the ground.  Reach arms up by you ears and pretend to get your "whole grain bread out of the cabinet".  Sit up and put it on your plate.  Reach back (lay back down) and get your turkey out of the refrigerator.  Sit back up, put it on your sandwich.  Continue, adding other healthy components like tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, maybe some onions, or avocado?  On your last sit-up, pretend to eat your sandwich!  You could also add healthy sides like carrot sticks or yogurt and a class of milk to drink for a healthy exercise lesson all in one! #makingkidsfitnessfun

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 18

Walking Works!  The treadmill queen, stacks of giant weights, and let's not even start on the locker rooms, the gym can be intimidating sometimes! Take advantage of the crisp fall weather and go for a walk!  You get the same health and fitness benefits with walking as you do from running, and its even better on your joints.  The best part?  You can do it as a family, setting a healthy example for your kids increases the likelihood of them becoming physically active adults!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PowerUp Instructor Training: Special Event!

Powerup Instructor Training Special Event
Saturday, December 1st, 2012 from 10:00a-2:00p
Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center in Knoxville, TN

PowerUp® Fitness, LCC is about Making Kid’s Fitness Fun! Our mission is to promote the physical, mental, and social development of youth through fun, educational, and safe fitness programming. Owner, Stacy Scott will be hosting this PowerUp Instructor Training Special Event!

Interested in becoming a PowerUp Fitness or PowerUp Your School Instructor?  This special event combines both instructor courses, so after the session you will be licensed to teach both PowerUp Programs!

Anyone 18 years or older may attend the PowerUp Instructor Training.  There are no prerequisites for taking this introductory course.  However, it helps if you have some group exercise experience or enjoy working with children.  The key to becoming a successful PowerUp Instructor is a positive attitude and enthusiasm for making kid’s fitness fun!               

After your PowerUp Instructor Training, you can start teaching when you feel ready!  Every PowerUp Instructor is an independent contractor, so you will set up your own schedule, rates, terms, agreements, etc. with the facilities you chose.  The PowerUp Instructor Training will teach you about the PowerUp program and how to lead the PowerUp classes.  The training and program materials that are included provide plenty of ideas and copyrighted lessons to get you started!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 16

It's a common myth that strength training stunts children's growth.  As a pediatric exercise physiologist, I am regularly asked about this topic.  Strength training is absolutely safe for children with proper instruction and light resistance, strength training improves bone strength, muscle strength & endurance, improves body composition, and even self-esteem! 

Resistance bands are a GREAT piece of equipment for children and perfect for introducing new strength training exercises.  It is important to start with exercises that incorporate large muscle groups, let's use squats as an example.

Chose a "light" resistance band (usually yellow or green bands indicate light resistance).  Step both feet on the center of the band.  Feet should be about hip width apart.  Hold one handle in each hand, start with hands at shoulder height. Now we're ready to squat.  Slowly bend at the knees, pretend to sit in an imaginary chair, bottom pushes back, and knees bend about 90 degrees.  Your hands should stay level with shoulders, then return to stand.  That's one!  Try 2 sets of 10 reps.  Talk to your children or students about reps and sets, you can even use it to explain multiplication (or addition for younger ones).

It's recommended that children get 60 minutes of physical activity everyday!  15-20 minutes of strength training should be included three times per week as a part of those 60 minutes!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Juice Abuse: Thirsy for the Answers?

I am excited to feature today's post by guest blogger, Jacquelyn Scott! Jacquelyn is an accomplished registered dietitian.  She earned her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Memphis and worked for several years at LeBonheur Children's Hospital.  Jacquelyn's experience includes health and nutrition education, motivational interviewing, weight management counseling, and comprehensive general nutrition education.  She has also been awarded for her work and has presented her scientific research on a national stage!

Today she highlights the difference between fresh fruit and fresh juice, enjoy!

Juice Abuse

"Juice is healthy because it's a fruit, right?"  As a registered dietitian, this is a question I get all the time.  It is true that the average child needs 1 ½ cups of fruit a day (2 cups per day for adults), and it is true that 100% fruit juice can count as a serving of fruit.  However, while 100% fruit juice can provide vitamins and minerals, it fails to provide some important benefits of whole fruit. 

Think about it – will drinking 4 ounces of fruit juice (1/2 cup) fill you up as much as eating an orange?  Any fruit with an edible peel, pith, or pulp is packed with dietary fiber.  Not only does fiber fill you up faster, it lingers in the stomach after other substances have emptied into your intestines, so it keeps you feeling full longer.  We also tend to eat whole fruit more slowly than we drink a few ounces of juice, so the enjoyment is prolonged and we stay satisfied longer.  That same dietary fiber can help control blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and lower your risk of heart disease.  

Have a kiddo who shys away from fruit?  Keep it fun, and approach every food with a positive attitude.  If your child is threatened to eat his fruit or hears her mom say "I don't like fruit, it's gross," then the child is much less likely to try new fruits.  Freeze fruits like grapes and melon slices for a refreshing snack after sports practice.  Make a healthy banana split for dessert with a sliced banana and ½ cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, then top it with a raspberry.  Now, go forth and be fruit-full! 

Jacquelyn Scott, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC
Pediatric Dietitian

Have nutrition questions for Jacquelyn?  Leave a comment and she'll get back to you with the answer!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 11

Fall weather is officially here - crisp, cool mornings, sunny, soul-warming afternoons and absolutely breath taking sunsets here in Knoxville, TN.  Take advantage of the fall weather before its too late!  Here are three fun outdoor activities for your family to try today or this weekend!

1. Family flag (or touch) football - find a park, or head out in your own backyard.  Have your children play QB, this encourages them to use problem solving skills as well as being physically active!  You'll get your heart pumping too, play for 45 minutes and torch around 350 calories!

My boyfriend and I in the Smokies!

2. Go for a hike - here in east TN, I try to take advantage of having the Smokies so close as much as I can!  No mountains? No excuse!  Most parks have some type of walking trails.  Live in the city?  Go for an urban hike!  Map out different city blocks that you and the kids want to conquer!

Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge

3. Go for a bike ride - get outside and start pedaling for a great family activity.  No bikes? Search online for a bike rental company near you!  (Right. Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with friends at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference!)

Let me know if you tried any of these activities!  I'd love to see pictures or stories about your family's activity adventure!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 10

Today's 5 Super Stretches for Your Family to Try!

1. Alphabet stretch:  Go through the alphabet and stretch your body in the shape of each letter.  Try upper case and lower case, hold each "letter" for 5-10 seconds.
2. Sit & Reach:  Sit on your bottom, legs out straight.  Slowly fold over, lowering your chest toward your legs.  Try to keep your knees straight, hold for 20 seconds then relax and repeat.
3. Downward facing dog:  Start on with the hands and knees on the floor, hands under the shoulders, and knees under the hips, with your back straightened and relaxed. When ready, lift hips toward the ceiling, the body forming an inverted V-shape.  If the hamstrings are very strong or tight, bend your knees to allow the spine to lengthen fully.
4. Quad stretch: Great for developing balance skills and much more!  Stand near a wall or a chair for support. Reach for your ankle and gently pull your heel toward your bottom until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Keep your knees close together. Hold for about 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
5. Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes: Use this classic children's song as a morning stretch.  Reach up and over your head, then roll your shoulders, reach for your knees, then your toes.  The kids will enjoy singing along and the whole family can get a good stretch in!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 9

Stretching is Super!  Flexibility and regular stretching is important for all ages!  Regular stretching can improve:

1.  Balance & Coordination: both of which are important throughout motor skill development during childhood, but also for everyday function for adults young and old!
2. Circulation:  Think better blood flow to the brain during your student's next spelling test!
3. Mood:  Stretching can offer relaxation, but also play a role in stress managment!

Make it a goal to stretch more!  Spend a few minutes in the morning before everyone rushes off to school and work or as a family before bed!

Check back tomorrow for 5 news stretches that your family should try!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 8

Think positive!  While getting your kids off the couch is one thing, positive feedback is critical in keeping them off!  On the playground kids hear "slow down", in the classroom "sit down", at home "no running".  While it is important to reinforce rules and safety, too often it turns into negative feedback regarding some type of physical activity.  This week I encourage you to take the kids somewhere they can run as fast as they want, jump, climb, and swing as high as they can.  Be sure to encourage their activity through positive feedback "wow, you're a great climber!", "you sure can run fast, you'd make a great soccer player/track runner/anything!"
Your positive feedback goes a long way!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 3

Does your home environment promote a healthy lifestyle or encourage sedentary habits?  A study out of the University of Sydney surveyed over 1100 parents with children starting their first year of school regarding their home environment and family's physical activity habits, diet, and screen time.

Overweight and obese children were 1.73 times more likely to exceed the recommended amount of screen time (TV, computer, video games, etc.) and 2.07 times more likely to eat dinner in front of the TV at least three times per week compared to their normal weight counterparts.

Also, overweight or obese girls were more likely to have TV's in their bedrooms and more likely to be rewarded with sweets for good behavior.

I think this study highlights the influence of a healthy (or not so healthy) home environment on the weight status of young children.  I challenge you to assess your family's home environment.  What  changes could you make today to encourage healthy habits in your home?

Like this article?  Here's the reference if you'd like to learn more!
Louise L. Hardy, Lesley King, Debra Hector, Beverley Lloyd. Weight status and weight-related behaviors of children commencing school. Preventive Medicine, Available online 16 September 2012.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 2

This week I am focusing on bone strengthening activities for kids (see yesterday's post for the recommendations).  Here is a list of some bone strengthening exercises; I challenge you to try 3 of them this week!

Figure Skating
Jumping Rope
Resistance exercises (with resistance bands or light weights)
Tae Kwon Do

Monday, October 1, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Oct. 1

Lately, with the focus on obesity prevention and treatment, aerobic activities have been in the spotlight. Don't forget bone strengthening activities are important too! Children should include bone strengthening activities like running, jumping, and climbing at least 3 times per week as a part of their 60 minutes everyday!