CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Health

August 8, 2013

Tree poses for saplings: Kid-friendly yoga, cardio and strength exercises

(Continued)

Cardio

"Always start with a game," Breger says. There's no need to have any special equipment or to reinvent the wheel. The classic diversions, such as freeze tag, sharks and minnows, and red light/green light, are still a hit with kids. If you want to splurge on something, buy a balloon. "You can't hit a balloon and not smile," he explains. Kids can pass it to one another while standing on one foot or crab walking around the floor. They can punch it like a boxing bag. Or they can sandwich it between two of them while they race in a relay. However you use it, he says, the point isn't to compete, but to play, which leaves kids with positive associations with movement.

Yoga

Not a serious yogi? No problem. Kids don't think of standing like a tree or mountain or warrior as a serious thing, anyway. "It's creative play to get a chance to act out the poses," Breger says. He recommends the $18 flashcards produced by YoKid (www.yokid.org), an organization devoted to bringing yoga to all children. Each 5-by-7 card features a child-friendly taste of yoga philosophy and a photo of a kid demonstrating a pose. In WellKids classes, students each get a card to study, and then they can try to teach the rest of the group. Lying down in silence and practicing some deep breathing is easier after that, too.

Strength

Basic exercises, including wall sits, planks, push-ups, lunges and squats, might not sound all that fun. But that's because you've never played Uno fitness, Breger says. Just assign a movement to each color. When students pick a card from the deck, they check the number to see how many reps of that movement to do. (Reinforcing math skills at the same time is a nice side benefit.) Another option is Simon Says, only with all exercise-based demands. These lessons won't feel like work, Breger says, but they sure work on kids.

Vicky Hallett edits the Fit section of The Washington Post's Express.

Text Only
Health
  • COMMENTARY: An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.

    July 18, 2014

  • Guideline: Most healthy women can skip pelvic exam

    No more dreaded pelvic exam? New guidelines say most healthy women can skip the yearly ritual.

    July 1, 2014

  • Sanofi targets fake Viagra market with non-prescription Cialis

    Sanofi sees an attractive opportunity in the rampant market for counterfeit Viagra: luring men away from dodgy online pharmacies with an over-the-counter version of a competing erection drug.

    June 5, 2014

  • Hospital charges to treat chest pain jump 10 percent in a year

    The charge to treat Medicare patients with chest pain at U.S. hospitals rose 10 percent to $18,568 in just a year, the biggest rise seen among the most common inpatient procedures, according to federal data.

    June 2, 2014

  • Study: Both men and women feel less stress at work than at home

    In a newly released study in the Journal of Science and Medicine, researchers carefully examined the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, of a variety of workers throughout the day. The data clearly showed that both men and women are significantly less stressed out at work than they are at home.
     And the women they studied said they were happier at work. While the men said they felt happier at home.

    May 26, 2014

  • Jobless contend with weight gain as they search for work

    A subject long ignored by policymakers, and one that unemployment counselors are too sheepish to raise with job seekers, the link between bulging waistlines and joblessness is now of intense interest to researchers studying the long-term effects of the country's economic malaise.

    May 12, 2014

  • COMMENTARY: Helmets won't protect your kids from concussions

    When I was a kid, helmets were for motorcyclists. Now I see children wearing helmets when they're scooting down sidewalks, skating, skiing, sledding and playing soccer. Last week one of my friends saw a helmeted kid power-walking in Prospect Park. You can even buy $40 baby helmets on Amazon, because, according to the product description, "babies will always fall taking their first steps."

    May 2, 2014

  • 400px-Cannabis_Plant.jpg How bad is marijuana for your health?

    The Journal of Neuroscience recently published a study linking recreational marijuana use to subtle changes in brain structure. The researchers, led by Jodi Gilman of Massachusetts General Hospital, identified increased gray matter density in the left nucleus accumbens and some bordering areas.

    May 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014