American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise
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The scariest statistic regarding youth and inactivity is the ripple effect that sedentary behaviors have on kids as they become adults. Children who do not participate regularly in any structured (physical education or sports) or unstructured (recess or play) activities early in life may not develop the prerequisite skills and physical abilities to be active later in life (Stodden et al., 2008). Therefore, the most critical time to acknowledge the decline or disinterest in physical activity and encourage any type of movement is when kids are young so we can help prevent the disease and dysfunction that results from inactivity.

Getting kids on the right path toward a long-lasting healthy lifestyle all starts with basic fundamental movement skills (FMS) that are learned by participating in basically any activity that teaches body awareness, balance and coordination. This includes activities such as catching, kicking, jumping, balancing and throwing. The easiest way to help kids improve these skills is to simply play—a game of tag, Simon says, kickball or 4-square are all great ways to gain basic FMS.

For kids who are obese and don’t show much interest in these schoolyard activities, it can be hard to get them started. It’s important to build their confidence and skills with similar movements that are simple and fun.

Here are some great beginner moves/games to develop FMS from pro weight loss specialists. Ideally you could complete four to five of these moves per day, but it’s fine to start with just one or two. It’s also best to set small goals, such as trying to complete one set of each move and then progressing to the full recommendations.

1. Skipping: Perform in place or while moving. In place, skip for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Try and repeat this five to 10 times (sets). Skipping improves coordination, rhythm and strength.

2. Single-legged Hops: Perform in place or while moving. In place, hop for 15 seconds on each leg and then rest for 30 seconds. Try and repeat this five to 10 times. It’s also fun to use a line and hop down the line and back for 30 seconds to add variety of movement. Try hopping backwards for an added challenge.

3. Jumping Jacks: Perform in place for 10 reps and then rest for 30 seconds. Add five reps to your number (15, 20, 25, 30) and rest for 30 seconds in between each set. Try to reach 30 reps in a row for your last set.

4. Hop Scotch: Use chalk to draw the ladder and number each step of the ladder 1 to 10. Every time the ladder is completed, you get 1 point and the goal is to reach 10. If performing in place: Hop Scotch for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Try and repeat this five to 10 times.

5. Card Catch: This game is played with a deck of playing cards. Throw one card up at a time and see if child can catch it before it hits the ground. This is a great way to interact with kids and encourage them one on one. It’s also fun to play with multiple kids who can cheer each other on. If playing with more than one child, give them each five tries and have them alternate turns. Go through the entire deck as many times as desired.

6. Tennis Ball Bounce Pass: Perform with a partner or against a wall. With a partner, bounce the tennis ball between you and your partner so they can catch it. Alternate bounce passes back and forth. To progress, try and catch it with one hand versus two. To set an added challenge, set up goals about 10-feet wide and try to score with a bounce pass through your partner’s goal.

7. Jump Rope: Perform in place or while moving. Jump rope for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Add an extra 10 seconds to your next set (40, 50, 60) and rest for 30 seconds only between each set. Try and get to 60 seconds on your last set

Remember, the more you move, you more you improve! Now GET READY, GET SET and GET FIT!

The scariest statistic regarding youth and inactivity is the ripple effect that sedentary behaviors have on kids as they become adults. Children who do not participate regularly in any structured (physical education or sports) or unstructured (recess or play) activities early in life may not develop the prerequisite skills and physical abilities to be active later in life (Stodden et al., 2008). Therefore, the most critical time to acknowledge the decline or disinterest in physical activity and encourage any type of movement is when kids are young so we can help prevent the disease and dysfunction that results from inactivity.

Getting kids on the right path toward a long-lasting healthy lifestyle all starts with basic fundamental movement skills (FMS) that are learned by participating in basically any activity that teaches body awareness, balance and coordination. This includes activities such as catching, kicking, jumping, balancing and throwing. The easiest way to help kids improve these skills is to simply play—a game of tag, Simon says, kickball or 4-square are all great ways to gain basic FMS.

For kids who are obese and don’t show much interest in these schoolyard activities, it can be hard to get them started. It’s important to build their confidence and skills with similar movements that are simple and fun.

Here are some great beginner moves/games to develop FMS. Ideally you could complete four to five of these moves per day, but it’s fine to start with just one or two. It’s also best to set small goals, such as trying to complete one set of each move and then progressing to the full recommendations.

1. Skipping: Perform in place or while moving. In place, skip for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Try and repeat this five to 10 times (sets). Skipping improves coordination, rhythm and strength.

2. Single-legged Hops: Perform in place or while moving. In place, hop for 15 seconds on each leg and then rest for 30 seconds. Try and repeat this five to 10 times. It’s also fun to use a line and hop down the line and back for 30 seconds to add variety of movement. Try hopping backwards for an added challenge.

3. Jumping Jacks: Perform in place for 10 reps and then rest for 30 seconds. Add five reps to your number (15, 20, 25, 30) and rest for 30 seconds in between each set. Try to reach 30 reps in a row for your last set.

4. Hop Scotch: Use chalk to draw the ladder and number each step of the ladder 1 to 10. Every time the ladder is completed, you get 1 point and the goal is to reach 10. If performing in place: Hop Scotch for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Try and repeat this five to 10 times.

5. Card Catch: This game is played with a deck of playing cards. Throw one card up at a time and see if child can catch it before it hits the ground. This is a great way to interact with kids and encourage them one on one. It’s also fun to play with multiple kids who can cheer each other on. If playing with more than one child, give them each five tries and have them alternate turns. Go through the entire deck as many times as desired.

6. Tennis Ball Bounce Pass: Perform with a partner or against a wall. With a partner, bounce the tennis ball between you and your partner so they can catch it. Alternate bounce passes back and forth. To progress, try and catch it with one hand versus two. To set an added challenge, set up goals about 10-feet wide and try to score with a bounce pass through your partner’s goal.

7. Jump Rope: Perform in place or while moving. Jump rope for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Add an extra 10 seconds to your next set (40, 50, 60) and rest for 30 seconds only between each set. Try and get to 60 seconds on your last set.

Remember, the more you move, you more you improve! Now GET READY, GET SET and GET FIT!

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