Anne Ebeling of Parents.TV gives you tips on how to cure your kids of being couch potatoes and to get them active.
How to Keep Kids Active Anne: Hi! I am Anne Ebeling you are watching Parents TV. Now how would you like to cure your kids of Couch Potato Syndrome? Well I am here at Gymtime Rhythm & Blues in New York checking out fun ways to get your little ones going. Chris Vollaro: We do balance beams, bars, trampolines, jumping, running, rolls, swing, everything that a kid should learn how to do. Anne: They run, they climb, they bounce, tumble and hang. These active kids are having fun and staying fit. Ruth Anselm: They learn fine motor skills, they can learn to when we see other kids playing even bigger kids they are able to interact a lot faster and feel more comfortable in their surrounding and in their environments. When they start being asked at school to do things like this, they don’t shy away from it. They actually feel confident doing it because they don’t know anything else. They know that they can do it. Anne: This is one of the many classes for kids at Gymtime. Chris Vollaro: Basically they learn how to be active. They learn that it is important to be active and healthy. You know schools, it is important to have gym in school because they learn different lessons. We could also teach what they learn in the classroom as well; as you saw we sat down and we took some turns. They tell us their colors, they tell us their shapes and they learn how to be active and healthy. Anne: By making exercise fast, basic and fun, Gymtime teaches kids to enjoy and active lifestyle from a young age. Chris Vollaro: We tend to move around as much as possible. The longer that you are stuck in a spot the less they are going to listen, you know they're not going to pay attention. If you are continuously moving, which is want we want to promote, we want to promote, we are on continuously in move we don’t have circle time. You know the kids are just going from activity to activity and you know the less sitting the better. We sit more when they get older so that is more like a classroom atmosphere. Anne: Instructors are waging war on the sedentary lifestyle that led to a nationwide increase on childhood obesity. Chris Vollaro: I would love to fight that. Kids should learn how to eat healthier at a very young age. And if they are eating they should move around while they are eating, people sit on the couch and the watch TV and they eat junk food all day that is no good. Even whole wheat pretzels—there are plenty of snacks that are fun and healthy at the same time. You know you have seen kids that are five year olds in parent’s shoulders. That is definitely not okay. They definitely should be walking and there is plenty of parks all over the country there is plenty of parks. And kids should be always be learning and always be happy and always be healthy. Anne: Even if you don’t have access to a gym like this, there are ways to get your little one moving. Chris Vollaro: You can take your kids to the park, there is always a park. You can always turn your living room into a kind of a fun ground. There is plenty of stuff that you could buy that you can create an atmosphere where you can work. I would tend to not keep them in strollers and let them walk around much more. You know any chance you can get; they can learn how to jump. They can jump over a paddle, they can jump over – you can walk on a sidewalk on the lines as a balance beam just to coordinate yourself. You can walk up in that steps or jump up and down on the steps instead of taking the elevator, maybe two flights you can walk up steps. Ruth Anselm: When you are home with the kids you can encourage them to jump a lot. And there is a different jumping things you can do with them. You can have them jump open and shut and you can do that just by showing them and trying to get them to do it. You can put out two sort of hoops or spots or anything that you might have at home that they could put one foot on and the other foot on and they can jump open on to it and then you jump shot on to another one. You can play a game where they jump goodbye away from you, and then they jump hello towards you. You can have them jump open and shot in the air. Or you can have them try to get their knees up really high in front of them when they go up. They are brining their knees up to their chest like this and all of this you can do by demonstration. Or you can explain it to them if you think they will understand it. A lot of times we do things with our arms up. There is also if you have balls at home, you can just have them see and have them practice just kicking. And if you have trouble getting them to lift their leg up and use their feet and they are always reaching with their hands. You can actually hold on to their hands from behind to them like this. And that encourages them to go up and they try to reach but they will be using their feet instead. So if you continue to help them eventually they will be able to do it by themselves by kicking. You can play a lot of catching with them just having them stand and when they stand and they don’t grasp the idea of catching you can tell them to put their hands together like this. And you throw and if they catch it with their hands it will roll to their elbows and they will catch like that and eventually they can do it like this. And then throwing back is just they’ll watch you throw to them, so they will throw back to you. Anne: And it is great to do these exercises with your children to show them you care about fitness too. Well now that you have learned some great ways to get your kids moving what are you waiting for. Get out there and thanks for watching Parents TV, your source for the best information for your growing family. Thank you for watching Parents TV our families, our lives.