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I am so excited about the latest workout trend taking the nation by storm. It is not a piece of equipment or an infomercial gadget. It is all about kids and what we can do to set them on a path to a healthy lifestyle. Fitness programming from gyms, recreation centers, schools and churches are now putting an extra emphasis on specifically designed programs for kids. With childhood obesity nearly tripling in the last 30 years (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), this is of particular importance.
In fact, nearly one in three children is overweight. A lot of this is direct result of our lifestyle. Many kids no longer walk to school for a variety of very reasonable concerns such as safety and parents needing to drop them off early before work, etc. The one factor that really makes me sad is the budget cuts facing schools with physical education being cut. Kids are also much more sedentary with technology taking up a whopping five hours of their day including television, video games and time spent on the computer. The one factor that can easily be controlled is our kids’ diets. There is no reason that 30 percent of children should be eating fast food daily.
From the mountains to the water, programming is being designed to help off-set this problem. Family-oriented fitness clubs feature everything from rock climbing walls to swim lessons and teams. Obstacle courses for kids are also a fun way to get them moving. Martial Arts programs teaches them discipline, precision, and control as well as getting them fit. Yoga for kids is a huge trend that I believe is here to stay and teaches them balance and flexibility as well as a mind/body connection.
More and more fitness centers are gearing programs towards sports specific training. This is especially true during the off-season of a specific sport. Kids are able to work with a conditioning coach or trainer to increase their speed and agility for when it is time to play ball. Movement arts such as various disciplines of dance and cheerleading are also a fun way to kids to get in shape, as well as progress and grow into a healthy hobby and lifestyle.