Blog posts by Ellen Houston, MS

Getting Non-sporty Kids Active

Some kids naturally excel in gym class and on the playing field — and some don’t. But your child doesn’t need to be an athlete to develop a love of physical activity, and that’s an important message to emphasize if you want to build lifelong healthy habits.

“Don’t confuse activity with athlete,” recommends Ellen Houston, an exercise physiologist with the UW Health Pediatric Fitness Clinic. “Sports aren’t for everyone, and that’s OK.”

Read more

Kids and Fitness Trackers

Kids and Fitness TrackersIt seems like wearable fitness trackers are everywhere now, even on kids’ wrists. And while the kid versions do everything from encouraging them to exercise in order to feed and care for a virtual pet to ones that allow them to actually help feed kids across the globe, the premise is the same as the adult versions. And, just as with adults, knowing what motivates your kids can help you decide whether a wearable device is right for them.

Read more

Being Mindful: Especially for Families

What does being mindful mean? Mindfulness has gotten a lot of buzz. Most researchers agree that “Mindful” means being in the present.  Mindfulness is allowing your thoughts to be about right now, not worrying about the past or planning the future. Another important part of being mindful is accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgement:  good or bad. Read more

What is Your Fitness Personality?

Fitness PersonalitiesFor the last 15 years, I’ve worked with school-age children from elementary school through high school as a special education assistant, track and cross country coach and exercise physiologist in the Pediatric Fitness Clinic.  During this time, exercise has been my “go to” tool for handling behavioral, performance and medical concerns.  It’s obvious that the need for exercise is universal (emotional, physical, and psychological health). However, approaching your child with the type of activity they are drawn to varies based on their personality.  It seems as if certain “Fitness Personalities” occur time and time again. Knowing your child’s personality may help you find the right activity for your child that feels natural, is rewarding and fun.

Read more