Friday, February 14, 2014

Kids Can (and Should) Still Be Active, Even If the Weather's Nasty



According to the American Heart Association, kids need at least an hour of exercise every day. But with all
of the cold, snowy days we’ve had recently — and the slushy muddy ones that are sure to come — getting outside to play is not easy. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to make sure the kids get their exercise inside, without driving you mad or wrecking your house.

The American Heart Association has several suggestions, from a healthy scavenger hunt to getting kids involved with chores around the house. Check out PBS.org for this list of ways to keep kids active, even while watching TV. Ultimately, however, TV and other screen time should be limited too, according to KidsHealth.org; check out this list of ideas to help keep your toddler moving without the television on.

Another option is to try out yoga with your kids, which is recommended by several sources, including this article on Parents.com and this one from PBS. While it doesn’t have the aerobic activity that, say, playing tag offers, it does increase flexibility, balance, and concentration. St. Louis Public Library has lots of books about doing yoga with your kids, whether they’re toddlers, teens, or anything in between. Here are just a few:

  • Yoga Exercises for Teens: Developing a Calmer Mind and a Stronger Body by Helen Purperhart
  • Yoga for Kids by Liz Lark
  • The Yoga Zoo Adventure: Animal Poses and Games for Little Kids by Helen Purperhart
  • Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance by Jennifer Cohen Harper
  • Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers: 8-minute Routines to Help Your Child Grow Smarter, Be Happier, and Behave Better by Helen Garabedian
  • Storytime Yoga: Teaching Yoga to Children Through Story by Sydney Solis
  • Babar's Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff

We also have plenty of resources related to general fitness for kids, both for kids and their caregivers. Again, this is just a sample of what we have available:

  • 35 Things to Know to Raise Active Kids by Adam Shafran and Lee Kantor
  • Fitness for Young People: Step-by-Step by Antony Atha and Simon Frost
  • The Fitness Fun Busy Book by Trish Kuffner
  • Get Up and Go: Being Active by Amanda Doering 
  • Dr. Rob's Guide to Raising Fit Kids: A Family-Centered Approach to Achieving Optimal Health by Robert S. Gotlin

For some online information about kids fitness, check out this page on general fitness info and this one on keeping your kids motivated from KidsHealth.org, as well as Let’s Move, an initiative started by First Lady Michelle Obama to help eliminate obesity.

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