Participate with your children.
Parental attention is one of the biggest motivators to children of all ages. Try
to focus on what they like, not what interests you.
Emphasize participation rather
than performance and give liberal amounts of positive reinforcement and
recognition for daily activities.
Remember to individualize. Each
child has personal likes and dislikes. Don't attempt to force everyone into the
Transport your child or arrange
for transportation to an organized activity or to a safe place for play.
Purchase toys that require or
encourage physical activity.
Fitness and activity are for everyone. Each child can find some form of physical
activity to enjoy. It does not take a lot of activity to be healthy. Encourage
them to do some physical activity almost every day.
It allows children to move freely and creatively with thought and purpose.
It is NOT recess.
It can be the vital link to learning using the kinesthetic, spatial and musical
modes of learning.
It develops valuable life skills such as leadership, discipline, innovation,
creativity and enhanced communication.
Most importantly it gives children guidance in the areas of planning a healthy
lifestyle and making the right choices.
Children are sporadic exercisers who alternate
between vigorous activity and rest. Watch your children play. They will go as
hard as they can for a short period and then stop to rest. After a very brief
rest, they are off again. Children are high volume exercisers who generally do
not engage in continuous high intensity exercise. As you watch your child
zooming around the house, the yard or the playground, you probably feel your
child is getting plenty of exercise!
For years, we have used the
Exercise Prescription Model (EPM) to evaluate activity. The EPM requires that
activity last 20 to 30 minutes and be at an intensity of 60% - 80% of your heart
rate reserve. The EPM was developed for adults and has been applied to children.
More recently, scientists have determined that moderate daily lifetime exercise,
such as walking, results in a total energy expenditure of 1000 to 2000 calories
per week, which is sufficient to produce health benefits. A new model has been
created called the Lifetime Physical Activity Model (LPAM). It recommends
accumulating, throughout the day, a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity
The LPAM is a much more reasonable model for children suggesting that it is
appropriate to establish a minimum standard of 1000 to 2000 calories per week to
produce health benefits. However, it is not unreasonable to establish an optimal
goal of twice that. The extended goal will allow children more active time to
learn necessary motor skills.
Brevard Public Schools have recently
adopted the Fitness Gram. This is a health-related
fitness test. Our long term objective is to develop students who are regularly
active, able to self-assess their fitness levels, interpret assessment results,
plan personal programs and motivate themselves to stay healthy! The Fitness
Gram assesses three components of physical fitness which have been identified as
being important because of their relationship to overall health and optimal
function. They are: Aerobic Capacity; Body Composition; and Muscle Strength,
Endurance and Flexibility. Please check out the specifics of the test
by reviewing the FitnessGram 8.3.
section on this website or with your child's physical education teacher.
Physical fitness has been shown to be very
beneficial in reducing the risk of death from all causes. Even moderate levels
of fitness are achievable by most people are associated with this reduction in
Now is the time to begin your fitness program. A recent study
suggests that, regardless of your age, it is never too late to change your level
of physical fitness.
Where to Begin:
If you've been inactive for some time, you
will need to begin gradually. An easy activity to do with your family might be a
walking program. There are many benefits to walking:
You already know how to walk.
You don't have to buy equipment or
pay any fees.
You can walk indoors or outdoors.
You can get a good workout.
Your risk of injury is very low.
You don't have to change clothes.
Whatever activity you chose keep the following
hints in mind:
Set goals and keep them in sight.
Put them where you will see them every day.
Start slowly - five or ten minutes
each day and work up from there.
Be realistic. It will take time for
you to find ways to fit activity into your schedule.
Being active with your family will
keep you going when you don't feel like being active.
Expect the unexpected. Things will
happen to get you off track. Be prepared.
Remember that any physical activity counts.
Something is better than nothing.