Kid Fitness: Starting Them Early

Climbing rocks and looking for adventure.

I have a very active four-year-old son. He’s in constant motion from the time he wakes up until the moment he falls asleep. We watch very little television and his only exposure to video games (so far) involves Wii Sports.

I know that he’s an anomaly, and not everyone is so lucky. I have great hope that by setting a good example now, he’ll have the fundamental skills and interest that will make him want to be an active teen and adult.

Getting kids up and moving can be a challenge; I know plenty of kids my son’s age who would rather watch TV than play baseball. There are some good tips from the Mayo Clinic, not the least of which involve turning off the television and limiting the time they can spend playing video games. But how do you make outdoor activities seem like they’re as much fun as their indoor counterparts?

One of the coolest programs that I’ve found is JumpStart! Kids Fitness* in the Phoenix area. Phoenix weather ensures that there are several months each year where getting outside isn’t exactly the most practical thing to do; who’s going to let their kids play outdoors in 110-degree heat? But JumpStart! does more than just get the kids moving. The classes mix age-appropriate exercise with lessons about living a healthy life. I love the concept and wish that there were more programs like this around the country.

How do you get your kids up and moving? Share your ideas in the comments.

* Disclaimer: I’ve known Coach Ryan for many years. This is not, however, a compensated endorsement or even something that he knows that I’m writing about.

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