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.”

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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.

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The “Finding Active Things Kids Like To Do” Challenge

A recent study out of Scotland found that after the age of 7, activity levels go down for both boys and girls. When Randy Clark, manager of the Pediatric Fitness Clinic read about it, he wasn’t at all surprised.

“Finding ways to engage kids in physical activity is a huge challenge I face as a parent and in my work at the Pediatric Fitness Clinic,” he says.  Clark, whose children are 12 and 14 years old, shares that part of the problem, in his opinion, is the increasing time we spend looking at screens.  He shares that as part of the ‘baby boomer outside generation’, fun included wiffle ball, touch football, capture the flag, kick-the-can and skating at the local rink. Now kids are growing up in a very different world filled with cell phones, iPods, personal computers and hand held devices. For him, while they are wonderful advancements in technology, they have led to an increasing amount of sedentary screen time.”

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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

Keep Food and Media Separate

Keep Food and Media SeparateTurn back the clock to when you were 3 years old. Sit down to a “satisfying” snack; half banana, sliced cheese and crackers with ice water before snuggling up on a comfortable couch to watch your favorite show- Elmo’s World. You notice two bowls in front of the couch: one filled with bear-shaped graham crackers and the other with corn chips. Throughout the 14-minute show, nine commercials appear advertising corn chips. Despite feeling satisfied, you naturally indulge in the snacks in front of you. Which snack did you eat more of?

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