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Category: Uncategorized

Why Kids Fitness Foundations and Three Moves You Can Do At Home

Good morning healthy legacy builders. As most of you may already know, I have finally started my kids fitness class. (Kid’s Fitness Foundations) What some of you may not know is why I am so passionate about its format. Below I have included a paragraph straight from my ACE Youth Fitness Manual. (edited ever so slightly for length)

“A 10 year evaluation of changes in muscular fitness in English children revealed observable declines in measure of upper-body and abdominal strength( such as sit ups, bent arm hang and handgrip). (Cohen et al., 2011)
These findings are troubling as physical activities during childhood have typically involved high-energy movement such as jumping and running. However , children with low levels of muscular fitness may be less likely to engage in free play and more likely to engage in sedentary pursuits.
The eventual decline and disinterest in physical activity appears to begin early in life in sedentary boys and girls.
Children who are not exposed to an environment with opportunities to enhance muscular strength and Fundamental Movement Skills such as catching, kicking, jumping, and balancing appear less willing to participate in games, sports and free play activities.
By middle childhood, children more accurately compare their physical prowess to others and their perception of competence can influence their persistence in games and activities. Some 10 year olds already know they are not as good as their peers and, consequently, they choose to be sedentary rather than display low levels of motor-skill competence in front of their family and friends.
In support of these observations, motor proficiency was a significant predictor of physical activity in children 6 to 10 years of age in a longitudinal study that examined the determinants of physical activity in youth.
That is, children with high levels of motor coordination at age 6 showed negligible changes in levels of physical activity over the next three years compared with children with low and moderate levels of motor coordination, who experienced declining levels of physical activity.”

Yes, you read that right. By age 6, children are already likely to start having a decline in their levels of physical activity. I choose to group the ages the way I did because one, those ages are close enough to keep everything appropriate for everyone and two, these are such crucial years in determining a child’s fitness levels later in life. If we can get a child confident and comfortable with their fitness abilities early in life, we can set them up for success in a big way.

Another piece of formatting for my class is keeping a positive environment. I think we all have experienced feeling “less than” or not good enough. And what happens when we feel like we are destined to fail? Well as shown in the research above, we shy away from those feelings and activities surrounding them. It is so important we create a space that it is okay to fail in order to be encouraged enough to keep trying.

And thirdly, every class is designed to hit each Fundamental Movement Skill that is necessary for a child’s development. So while the activities appear to just be fun and games, Kids are actually learning and developing skills they didn’t even know they had!

For those of you who aren’t local and able to attend a class, I have created three moves you can do at home with your child. All you need is a kiddo and some sidewalk chalk!

1.) (chalk) Cones Drills

No cones? No problem! I used the same fun drills I would with cones, but I colored circles where the cones would be. Not only did this work well, but it was a nice little change from the norm.

2.) Obstacle Course

By drawing a few lines, circles and dots we were able to practice almost every fundamental movement skill in this fun obstacle course. After the kids went through a couple times, I let them draw their very own course. This ended up being great for spacial awareness too! (If you liked this- check out our indoor obstacle course!)  

3.) Letter ‘S’ Tracing

Tracing the letter S has kids crossing the midline of their body which is amazing for their brains. It basically causes both sides of the brain to “light up” and the more practice kids can get doing this the better! Draw an S on the ground (about the width of the child’s chest) and have them trace it with their pointer finger.

And that’s it! Simple yet effective moves to help hone your child’s skill set and help empower them for a healthy feature.

I hope this post was of some help to you! Please feel free to ask any questions, my e-mail box is always wide open! Let me know in the comments what your favorite physical activity was growing up 🙂

-Ashley

 

Sports Team Snack Ideas

Ah May. If you are a mom with a school aged kid, it is truly the busiest time of the year. Field trips, end of year parties, outdoor play dates and an a shockingly large amount of birthday parties. Throw in a sport and the days will literally fly past you.

And I will be the first to admit it has been difficult to focus on nutrition once life picked up this much!

In my book, every little bit helps. Evening T ball games have dinner rushed (and quite chaotic). So I figured the last thing I wanted to give our little growing athletes was more junk, with an already skimped dinner!

So here is my list of healthy and better for you foods to bring when it’s your turn for snack.

Sports Team Snack Ideas

  • String Cheese
  • Apple slices
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Oranges (and cuties)
  • Bananas
  • No- sugar added granola bars
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Real fruit leather
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Carrot sticks

When it was our snack day we brought honest juice boxes for the drink. I felt it worked as a decent alternative to other sports drinks.

I hope this post was of some inspiration for you! Let me know what some of your go to group snacks are. And bonus points for healthy quick dinner recipes 😉

Have a wonderful day.

~Ashley

Rainbow Salad for Kids | Plus a Free Shopping Printable

With so much talk about dieting these days, I have been making a very mindful effort to teach my kiddos to just simply enjoy real whole foods.
One point I try to really drive home is eating the rainbow. Having a large variety of fruits and veggies is one of the best ways to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need throughout the day.
Another benefit to this recipe is the rainbow aspect helps make salads more appealing and fun to kids who might be hesitant.
Without further ado, here is our favorite rainbow salad recipe!

Rainbow Salad

  • Red- Red Bell Peppers
  • Orange- Shredded Carrots
  • Yellow- Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Green- Baby Spinach
  • Blue- Blueberries
  • Purple- Purple Cabbage

*Rainbow Carrots for fun!*

Another way to get kids excited about eating right and trying new foods is to get them as involved as possible.
Grocery shopping can be a great way to help get the veggie hype started! To help with this I created a grocery list for this meal for kids! It went over so well with my boys I just had to share with all of you.

Some tips; bring a clip board if possible, or at least something hard to write one. I also printed a few extra coloring sheets for the boys to have in case the trip went long! I’ll include those here too 🙂

Once your fun shopping excursion is done, do as much prep work as possible before you actually bring the kids into the kitchen with you. Depending on age, having everything pre chopped and portioned, ready to just pour into the bowl can be the best way to go. The more fun the experience the better. Older kids can cut up the spinach with some kitchen scissors. And don’t forget the best part can be sampling while cooking 😉 Put on some fun music and embrace the chaos, your kids are learning some of the best life lessons they can.

I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe! Please send us pictures of your own creations, we love to see what you guys come up with.

Have a beautiful day.
~Ashley

P.S- If you liked this, don’t forget to check out our Fruits and Veggies Hack | Getting Your kids To Eat Veggies

Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals | from A Certified Personal Trainer

It’s New Year’s eve. You are excited about the bright shiny year ahead of you. “This is my year!” you say to yourself. The year you will finally, lose that extra weight, write your book, finish school, go on that trip, etc. etc. Even posting about it on Facebook, holding yourself accountable with all your friends and family (and that weird co-worker you never really liked that still likes all of your updates 5 years later.)

And then March rolls around.

The excuses start piling on and your motivation gets lost in the chaos that is known as life. Sound familiar? Or is it just me? 😉
You are probably left wondering what went wrong when you started out so strong! Well I’m here to tell you that it’s not you. It’s your goals. It’s time to up your goal setting game.

The key is to create goals that are SMART!
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time-bound

Specific. The more specific the better! When we set goals that are too vague, it’s easy to push them aside because you aren’t being clear and defined enough to dictate what you really need to make things happen! If you say you want to start eating a more nutritionally based diet, it’s easy enough to justify eating unhealthily because you don’t have your goal clearly outlined. If you say you are going to cut out your nightly slice of cake except for Cake Fridays at work, and eat your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, it’s easier to know what you should be doing.

Measurable. For myself personally, this helps me stay motivated. While I was in the process of healing my Diastasis Recti, I had taken my waist measurements at the beginning of my journey, and at the end of the 8 week program. I was feeling particularly discouraged until I saw I had lost 7 inches on my waist line! I was instantly encouraged and it was all because I saw the numbers. You can say you want to lose weight. Or you can say you want to lose 5lbs in two and a half weeks.

Attainable. Although I am one who loves to dream big, you also have to set goals for yourself you are capable of achieving. You will lose interest and feel discouraged if your goals are unrealistic, and when speaking on health and fitness, goals can be downright unhealthy. Keeping your goals attainable and realistic will help you build confidence in this area, which can help create even more motivation.

Relevant. Goals need to be relevant to you as a person. My husband would be so miserable in a yoga or Zumba class. That’s just not who he is. But he would thrive in a kick boxing, crossfit setting. He is significantly more likely to keep up with a kick boxing class than he would yoga. Everyone is an individual, and needs to keep in mind what is relevant to their own personal needs and wants out of life.

Time-bound. This one hits home for me! If I don’t have a time line, it won’t happen! I tend to put everything off to the last minute. If there’s no countdown, it gets put to the bottom of my priority list. Setting how long you have to accomplish your goals, and the duration of time you set aside to accomplish them, will hold you accountable to your commitment to yourself.

And there you have it! The formula for setting a successful goal. Another tip I’d like to add is make sure you set process goals and product goals. For example. I’d like to lose 5 lbs in two and a half weeks. So I will do cardio at my gym for 45 minutes 3x a week and go for a half hour walk every day after dinner. Outlining what your process and product goals are can help eliminate any potential road blocks before you even reach them!

Good luck in achieving all you set out for. I hope you have a wonderful day.

~Ashley