Welcome to a new category of my blog simply called ‘Healthy Tips.’ Many times, when I write articles for various publications, I need to find sources for the story. Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo Shine (click here) and PBS (click here) about keeping kids healthy. I was looking for experts and parents to chime in and give their favorite ‘tips’ to help kids (and their families) lead a healthy lifestyle.
The feedback for the story was amazing. The sources had some fantastic points of view that could not be ignored, and I thought their opinions should be viewed on the Your Health Journal web site.
So, enjoy my new series, with some ‘great’ insight from some ‘great’ people giving exceptional and educational points of view.
My name is Charla McMillian, and I am an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with more than 26 years experience coaching and training recreational athletes with emphases on strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance, weight loss and muscular development.
When families exercise together it can often be more motivating and fun which can help all family members get more excited and stay consistent with exercise; A few more examples of benefits:
– Spending “good old fashioned” quality time together can become more accessible and pleasant esp. when the kids (and perhaps one or both spouses) can look forward to a sport or other fun activity.
– When the family exercises together, it’s a great time for parents to be able to observe their kids’ movement capabilities outside the school or local competitive environment. In this way, any deficits can be identified as early as possible and corrected while specific strengths and talents can also be seen and further enhanced in that
non-competitive environment, hopefully for productive use later.
Ideas to get families to exercise together — Often, a drawback for getting people to exercise issimply the name. The lifelong non-athlete, the seriously overweight, or (frankly) the lazy can get very disinterested in the notion that upcoming on the schedule is exercise, regardless of how “fun” or useful this iteration might be. Some alternatives:
– “Let’s ride our bikes and go to (the lake, the beach, that park that looks so pretty, etc.) — take an invigorating (or even casual) ride to a local spot and see what activities come to mind while there.
– “Let’s go outside or over to the park and play a game (catch, short-sided kickball, ) or use whatever facilities are there (stairs in stadium seating – “race you to the top,” sprint races around the bases at the baseball field,
grab a rope and do a bit of tug ‘o war, etc).
– Come up with healthy prizes for doing well at the family games – favorite fruit desserts after dinner, wining kid gets to pick his/her favorite lunch/dinner, trips to the upcoming local event or fair, etc.
Why aren’t families exercising together as much in modern times — I think the answer to this query lies in many of the same excuses that we have an obesity epidemic for the whole country: allegedly not enough time to exercise, work/household duties take up too much time, no facilities or gym too expensive, etc. Typically and often, these excuses come down to: eating excessively seems easier and more convenient and ignorance about how much activity is required to help improve fitness and health scenarios.
– Charla McMillian, President: FitBoot – Basic Training for Professionals Chief Instructor: S.F. Bay area