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Mendo Lake Family Life

Kid-Friendly Fitness Tips for January

Dec 21, 2009 12:00AM

Getting your kids active and physically fit may be a bit easier with the help of the MyActivity Pyramid, a guide to physical activity for children ages 6 to 11 developed by University of Missouri-Columbia Extension health educators. “We really want kids to be active up to several hours a day,” said Steve Ball, assistant professor of exercise physiology and a state fitness specialist. “Regular physical activity is important to overall health, and school-aged children need at least 60 minutes every day.” With a design similar to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid food guide, MyActivity Pyramid will seem familiar to kids. The cartoon-like drawings and multiple activity levels in the MyActivity Pyramid show kids what kind of activity they need and how much.

Everyday activities

As often as possible

  • Playing outside
  • Helping with chores around the house or yard
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Picking up toys
  • Walking

Active aerobics and recreational activities

Three to five times a week

  • Playing basketball
  • Biking
  • Playing baseball or softball
  • Rollerblading
  • Skateboarding
  • Playing soccer
  • Swimming
  • Playground games
  • Jumping rope

Flexibility and strength

Two to three times a week

  • Practicing martial arts
  • Rope climbing
  • Stretching
  • Practicing yoga
  • Doing push-ups and pull-ups

Inactivity

Cut down

  • Watching television
  • Playing on the computer
  • Sitting for too long
  • Playing video games

Find your balance between food and fun

  • Move more. Aim for at least 60 minutes every day, or most days.
  • Walk, dance, bike, rollerblade - it all counts. How great is that!

Courtesy of the University of Missouri Extension, extension.missouri.edu .