3 Easy Ways to Get Kids Moving!
The USA Gymnastics’ Fitness Program states, “Our society has begun to refocus on fitness, especially in regard to heathy, active, lifestyles for children. Today’s youth have replaced climbing trees, jumping rope, and playing tag with video games, computers, television and texting. These sedentary activates are a major reason fitness is important.” Research recommends that parents incorporate consistent weekly opportunities for children to be active into their schedule. The Gymnastics and Cheerleading Academy of Cherry Hill (“The GCA”) believes that a healthy diet, active play, and physical activity are the foundations of a healthy lifestyle. We believe that fitness can be fun and rewarding. Our summer camp and class programs provide a curriculum that is centered on combining physical education and fun into a unique experience that will encourage self-confidence, enhance social skills, further develop physical strength, coordination, and fine motor skills. Below are three ways parents can provide children with consistent opportunities for active play encourages physical fitness and wellbeing and can provide the foundation for a healthy, active, lifestyle.
1) Team Sports
An easy way to limit screen time and get kids away from gadgets is to sign up for a team sport. Team sports usually practice about two to three times per week. These regularly scheduled practices are a great way to incorporate consistent physical activity into your children’s schedule. Team sports gives kids the opportunity to build self-confidence, promote social skills through the development of relationships with teammates and coaches, learn respect and sportsmanship, and further develop their physical strength and coordination.
2) Extracurricular Classes
Physical education classes and school recess only provides children with a short amount of time to be active. Further, some schools are completely removing recess from the school day, which limits kids’ opportunities for physical activity. For those who can’t commit to two to three practices per week and need to stay active, class programs are another way to get kids outside and away from screens.
Classes offer consistent weekly (or bi-weekly) opportunities to get physical and release pent-up energy. The USA Gymnastics’ Guide says, “gymnastics provides the proper athletic foundations for all sporting endeavors. It helps increase flexibility, speed, strength, agility, coordination, and balance.” Beyond that, it encourages students to gain self-confidence and self-esteem through the mastery of skills, provides social interactions with classmates and peers, and helps children learn goal-setting through the physical repetition of basic skills into the mastery of complex ones.
3) Outdoor Play
Playing outdoors is a form of exercise that promotes well-being, wholesome physical development, and exposes children to fresh air. Encourage outdoor play by taking your child to the park, going for a bicycle ride, jumping on outdoor trampolines, swimming, or going for a hike.
The GCA does its part to encourage outdoor play by bringing our class program students (weather permitting) and summer camp campers outside to our outdoor facility. Our outdoor facility for class students includes the use of two outdoor and in-ground trampolines and tumbling area. For campers, Super Star Summer Camp utilizes the amenities available in our three acre fenced-in outdoor facility, including: our two (2) in-ground swimming pools, two in-ground outdoor trampolines, mini-golf course, ninja warrior obstacle course, archery field, playground and sandbox, gaga-pit, our two in-ground trampolines and tumbling area, sports field, 30 foot slip n’slide, and more.