With all the video games, television, computers, etc., it’s no surprise children are becoming inactive. It is vital to educate younger children about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. Our FitKids Workshop is geared toward children aged 6-12. Kids this age need physical activity to build strength, coordination and confidence and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle. At this age, they are also gaining more control over how active they are.
Here are the benefits of having your child engage in regular exercise.
- Develops muscle strength. Lifting things, including their own body weight, keeps children healthy and limber so they feel well and function optimally.
- Improves cardiovascular capacity. Moving vigorously cultivates a healthy heart and lungs and helps prevent hypertension which can develop during childhood. Regular physical activity can also lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
- Keeps bones strong. The crucial time to build bones starts before the teen years and lasts until the mid-20s which is when bones grow to their maximum thickness.
- Decreases body fat. Aerobic activity and strength training help children expend energy (calories) which helps them with weight control and positive fat distribution.
- Maintains a steady, healthy weight. Movement and a healthy diet, combined with reducing sedentary behaviours, help to prevent obesity which can in turn help prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.
- Enhances self-esteem. As children exercise, their strength increases and so does their self-esteem. They gain confidence and become more comfortable in their own skin.
- Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. Physical activity can change children’s brain chemistry and improve their frame of mind. Exercise has been shown to increase levels of serotonin which can contribute to reduced feelings of depression.
- Increases concentration and alertness. Exercise releases endorphins which are the feel-good chemicals that act on the brain as natural tranquilizers. Studies have shown that endorphin-rich movement improves mental focus and cognitive skills.
- Boosts energy levels. Movement stimulates attention and energy levels due to improved circulation and blood flow. This helps the body deliver more oxygen and essential nutrients to tissues which allows children to do more, and feel better, throughout the day.
- Controls mood swings. Exercise can help calm kids down and stabilize their mood swings, thus making good behaviour more likely.
- Fosters feelings of happiness. Fun, physical activities and mental stimulation with family and friends in a supportive environment give children the sense they’ve achieved something new and challenging. They feel better. They feel happy.
The FitKids Workshop, led by Alicia Horne, will be held for four weeks on Fridays from February 7th to February 28th from 6:15 to 7:00 pm. There are only 8 spots available, so each child gets the attention the deserve. Parent attendance is mandatory as you will be there to guide and support your child.
Nordic Walking Clinic
Nordic Walking is a full-body workout for people of all ages and fitness levels. It challenges almost every muscle while also training cardiovascular endurance, balance and coordination. Participants offload weight onto Nordic Walking poles which takes the stress off the hips, knees and back while shifting work to the core, arms and shoulders. To vary intensity, participants simply speed up or slow down. This makes it an activity that people can easily practice for a lifetime.
Here are the benefits of Nordic Walking:
- It whittles your waist. Your abs tighten each time you push off with your poles. Many people walk 5,000+ steps per hour, which means 5,000+ pole plants/ab contractions per hour.
- Your knees and hips will thank you. The poles let you offload weight from your hips and knees into your upper body. You can walk further, faster and even pain-free.
- It revs up calorie burning. It burns up to 46% more calories than standard walking.
- It sculpts your arms and shoulders. Nordic Walking uses 90% of your muscles, especially the underused upper body muscles.
- It helps balance your blood sugar. It helps keep blood sugars in a healthy range.
- You’ll straighten up and feel more confident. Your upper back muscles (that pull your shoulders back) tighten each time you plant a pole.
- It’s a fun social workout. Invite your friends and family members to enjoy all the health benefits with you.
- It’s a stress buster. The smooth rhythmic action provides a distraction from everyday concerns and lifts your mood.
- You can adjust the intensity. Press on the ergonomic handles with more or less intensity to modify your pace.
- It’s a great running alternative. Nordic Walking offers the same year-round, fresh-air experience as running but without jarring and jostling your joints.
The Nordic Walking Clinic, led by Joan Maloney, will be held for six weeks on Saturdays from February 22nd to March 28th from 8:30 to 9:30 am. There are only 10 spots available due to limited pole availability (which will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis); however, if you have a set of your own Nordic Walking poles, you are more than welcome to join the clinic for the same price.