JK Lee Black Belt Academy

(262) 547-5425

Locations

      9 Reasons Martial Arts is the Perfect Family Activity

      When you are looking for a great family activity, it is important to make sure you are choosing an activity that will entertain everyone of all ages. Great family activities are those that add to family fitness. Finding a sport that everyone can enjoy can be a difficult task at times. However, Martial arts are a great activity that can add to your family fitness. Here are nine reasons why this is the perfect family activity.

      Setting goals with your family is healthy

      Advancing in martial arts, like karate and judo, is one of the best parts of going to lesson after lesson.

      Getting all the way to black belt can take a very long time and getting new belts is a fun way to set goals with everyone in your family. This is what keeps families coming back class after class.

      Working towards physical goals leads to working on other important goals. Working on goals towards college, financial planning, and family readiness is much easier after you have already practiced setting goals before as a family.

      Exercise helps everyone stay happy

      When families exercise together, they feel happier.

      It is proven in studies that exercise will release endorphins that make you much more upbeat and less depressed in your life. Attending classes regularly will allow your family to release these endorphins on a regular basis and raise the overall level of happiness in the home. Once you start exercising, it is easy to get addicted to other physical activities like swimming, hiking, baseball, and golf.

      This is a great way for a family to bond

      When everyone in the home is working on a common goal, it is easy to find common ground.

      Having something each week to look forward to with your family is a great way to get everyone excited to spend time together. The car rides, long lessons, and practice sessions will help all of the members of your family spend more time together and bond. When everyone is trying to learn something together, the breakthroughs will create some amazing bonding time.

      Learning together as a family is one of the best ways to grow closer to one another.

      Compete friendly with each other

      The world is a very competitive place. It is important to teach your children the importance of competition before they leave your home.

      Classes and belt advancement is a fun way for siblings and parents to compete without the stakes being too high. Friendly competition can help bond your children closer together as well. They will learn to work with each other to achieve common goals that will help them to grow as individuals.

      Create memories that will last a lifetime

      While it is fun to hang out at home and watch movies every once in a while, engaging in family activities outside of the home are where you are going to create the most long lasting memories of all. When families engage in activities together, it is easier to create memories that will last a lifetime. Your children will look back fondly at their time spent at the school and remember it well into their adult years.

      Filming and taking photos of lessons and competitions can be a great way of remembering all of the fun family times that were had during these activities.

      Start a habit of sharing your interests

      When all of the members of your family start sharing their interests for the first time, it can be easy for individuals to propose the idea of trying out their hobby. It may turn out that your whole family would love skiing or going to the skatepark together.

      It is always a great idea to try out the hobbies and interests of your family members as an entire unit. This is a great way to bond and find new activities that everyone can enjoy together. Your family might discover that they are into creative endeavors as well like music or filmmaking.

      Keep your family safe with the art of self-defense

      The world we live in is becoming more dangerous every day. It is important to teach your children the skills that they will need in order to protect themselves in this violent world. While the skills learned in these classes are never supposed to be used for bullying or intimidating others, they can be very important when any type of self-defense is needed.

      The better skilled your family becomes in these forms of self-defense, the more confident they will feel in the world. This level of safety is especially important when your family is traveling abroad.

      Again, while these skills should never be used for harming others, it is very important to be able to protect yourself in the event that someone is trying to harm you or your family.

      Everyone at any age can enjoy martial arts

      There are some sports that parents can’t have as much fun with as their children. Skateboarding, downhill biking, and wakeboarding are just a few examples of sports that might not be as fun for parents. However, anyone at any age can really start to enjoy learning the art of self-defense.

      Close the generational gap

      It can be difficult for parents and children to understand each other. However, when regular activities are on the schedule, it gives family members the ability to get to know one another. Parent’s and children’s music can be shared and talked about in the car and deep conversations about important issues can happen as well.

      Getting on the same page as your children doesn’t have to be as difficult as it might seem. Taking a little bit of time to understand what your kids are into can go a long way. This time spent together will be a way to really get to understand the culture of your children.

       

      Why Martial Arts is Great for a Child’s Development

      Children martial arts classes are an excellent complement to traditional team children sports offered by schools. For a variety of reasons, your child can achieve greater physical fitness and development when the usual sports like basketball, football, or baseball are pursued in conjunction with martial arts. Parents may wonder “What is the right age to expose the young one to this ancient and timeless method of achieving fitness and discipline?” Most experts say that by the age of six a child should be ready to understand and participate competently in martial arts. If you’re not convinced of the fitness benefits inherent in this idea, keep reading.

      Discipline and Repetition Equals Fitness

      It’s fascinating to watch a children martial arts class in progress, especially if you are able to witness your own child improve his or her strength, power, balance, and coordination over weeks and months of practice. With this activity, fitness is achieved through discipline. Most people understand that the more times you repeat something, the better you get at it. Practicing martial arts moves and routines is no different, and there aren’t many things in a child’s life that he or she will practice more times than the requirements of training for the next belt.

      This physical expression of “practice makes perfect” burns each single move or routine into the muscle memory, allowing subsequent repetitions to be performed with more power and fluidity as the weeks roll by. This is how discipline contributes to children’s fitness in a tangible way. Increase in the former leads to a higher level of the latter.

      When sparring is added to the mix, the potential level of children’s development goes up even more. It takes balance and coordination to throw oneself into the fray of a controlled battle against a peer. Even though it is a competition, there are still rules and protocols to follow and doing so requires more fitness than to simply lose one’s mind and dive into a sparring match with no self control.

      Nobody Sits Down

      It’s a reality of team sports that not everyone gets to play all the time. The bigger, faster, stronger kids tend to get more playing time while others sit on the bench waiting for their chance to contribute. It’s no knock against team sports; there are valuable lessons learned completely unrelated to actual time in the game. The point is that it’s different in martial arts. Everyone participates to the fullest extent and reaps the maximum possible benefit from taking part.

      In team sports, the majority of the action goes to those who physically develop faster, and late bloomers are left on the bench to wait their turn. A late bloomer who gets into martial arts, though, may be able to close the gap with more skilled peers and improve his or her fitness and coordination to the point that they earn more playing time in their favorite school team sport.

      While a child might not have enough opportunity to hone their skills and coordination in team sports, a martial arts class is an entirely different beast. Participants will practice their skills daily and from the beginning of practice to the end. Though different colored belts are used to designate those who have demonstrated a higher level of skill, any child with the drive to practice can reach the next level.

      Battling Childhood Obesity

      Childhood obesity is considered an epidemic in much of the developed world and in the United States in particular. Regardless of which martial arts style chosen, no child in the class goes without being put through his or her paces daily. Warm up calisthenics and stretching, active games, sparring, and practicing moves fill the time between the start and end of a practice session. Defeating obesity through fitness is all about movement.

      Children’s fitness is developed on a couple of different fronts. First, their muscles naturally develop through regular physical strain, while, at the same time, a stronger cardiovascular system can’t help but do the same. A martial arts class is an almost continuous block of activity that lasts up to an hour or longer. Even the most active of team sports (like basketball) can’t match that level of action, broken up as it is by breaks for quarters and timeouts and the shuffling in and out of substitutes. Even the best players aren’t on the floor the entire game.

      Defending Yourself Takes Effort

      Every organized martial art spends a substantial amount of time teaching various forms of self defense. For many of the same reasons we’ve mentioned, time spent in the focused moves of learning effective tactics to take care of one’s self in a dangerous situation relies on a premium level of fitness. At the same time, there may be nothing more critical to children’s development than to learn how to stay safe and alive in the event someone tries to do them harm.

      In a conflict, assuming the skillets are roughly equal, who is more likely to come out on top? We’re going to crawl out on a limb here and suggest it will probably be the one with more strength and faster reflexes – in other words, a higher level of physical fitness.

      The Bottom Line

      While this article focuses primarily on the physical fitness benefits to be gained by participating in martial arts, it’s difficult to separate out a single aspect of this sport for the sake of examination. The philosophy behind any martial art is rooted in a few thousand or more years of dedication to achieving as close to perfect control over body and mind as humanly possible. As your child moves into the vicinity of five years of age, a thoughtful parent should consider exposing him or her to martial arts in addition to traditional team children sports to see if there is any natural interest.

      3 Reasons Why Martial Arts is the Right Activity for 2017

      Ready to Start 2017 with a New Habit? Don’t Miss These 3 Top Reasons Why Martial Arts is the Right Activity for 2017
      As the new year begins, are you on the hunt for a new exercise routine? Do you want to try something new and exciting — but you also want to make sure you’re getting the most out of the time you put into your hour of exercise? Do you want to tone, trim and get strong?

      If you’re ready to change your exercise regime for 2017, then look no further than a martial practice such as Kung-Fu. Not only is martial training a precise and beautiful
      practice that will improve your balance and strength — but it has many health benefits, including boosting your self-confidence and helping you lose weight.

      If you’re ready to see a change in 2017, then read on to get our top three reasons why martial practices if the right activity for you! Don’t miss out on what training can do to elevate and push you forward in the new year. Here is why:

      Reason #1: Get a Complete Body Workout

      One of the greatest benefits of this ancient practice is that it works every muscle in your body. When you exercise this way and really lean into the moves — you’ll be engaging a total body workout that not only will make you sweat it out but will help you rest better at night.

      Many people get hung up on exercise regimes that engage only one core muscle — like the legs in the case of running. But martial arts take a total-body workout to an entirely new level.

      When you get done with your firs class, you will have burned hundreds of calories in an hour that will completely smoke whatever exercise you had reserved for the treadmill or elliptical machine.

      Reason #2: Build Muscles

      Not only should you expect to lose weight when you incorporate a regular martial practice into your lifestyle, but you should expect to gain some back via muscles. You use your core body to build those muscles and to grow stronger every day through the practice — and you’ll begin to notice your arms and legs begin to show some definition over time. As you engage that muscle mass and tone it up — your metabolism becomes smarter and more efficient — and you begin to burn even more calories.

      That gives you the chance to choose healthy, protein-rich foods to eat to replace those calories, which will further help build your muscles and keep your body super strong over time.

      In addition, you’ll build your balance as you build your muscles and make your reflexes stronger as you face your opponent and develop the practice. All in all, all of these sub-benefits go back to the core you are strengthening via martial exercises — and that’s something few sports and practices can offer with the kind of targeted precision that a martial practice can!

      Reason #3: Watch Your Self-Confidence Soar

      This practice is both an individual and a group one — and that means you’ll be able to be both introspective when it counts and more social when you need to open up and build relationships and trust. You will be training in a community and learning to set goals for yourself. You will be learning from those who have gone before you and getting better with your moves over time. You will have someone there with you all along the way.

      You’ll be encouraged and spurred on by your teachers and classmates — and that will drive you to continue reaching high for your goals and getting that form right. When you finally reach your goal, you will look back and feel confident and empowered knowing you mastered and executed such beautiful, strong moves.

      Martial practices also teaches good ethics and morals — such as kindness and patience. As you practice these arts you begin to adopt some of these practices and let them infuse your life throughout the day.

      That’s because martial arts is so good at helping you focus, establish the right frame of mind, accepting what you can and cannot do, working toward a goal, giving it your best and finally, being content with what the practice has gifted to you. You can’t ask anymore than that — and at the end of the day, you’ll be incredibly happy for the peace you feel through the practice. It teaches us all how to be better human beings — and that will infuse your work and personal life for years to come!

      Ready to Sign Up for Your First Class?

      Many people you would never think of liking marital arts do. Why? Because they see the many incredible benefits this beautiful practice gives them in their lives. From improving reflexes, to toning muscles to empowering athletes all over the world — marital arts becomes the conduit to a healthy lifestyle.

      It’s normal to feel hesitant or to be afraid that you can’t follow this practice or that you’ll get hurt. It also can be overwhelming at first to wonder whether you can really do it — but you can. You have to take one step at a time. You have to be committed to growing as an athlete and to know that you have limitations just like everyone else. The key to getting involved in this healthy practice is to take what you can from it — but not too judge yourself because you aren’t at a certain perceived level.

      If you’re thinking about this for 2017, take our advice and try it. Just take that first step and sign up for your first class. Take it slowly and practice. Join the community that you find in your class and enjoy the journey. You’ll find your mind is more peaceful — and your body starts to trim and tone. Happy New Year!

      Benefits of Martial Arts for Other Sports

      Benefits of Martial Arts for Other Sports

      Playing sports as a kid gave me some of the fondest memories growing up. The thrill of competition, the camaraderie among teammates, and reward of self-improvement are more often found in sports than not. I’ve done it all. I was thrown into the pool at five years old. I grew up playing basketball. Neighborhood softball and football games were tradition. I ran, I jumped, and I caught. Still though, I have yet to find an endeavor as physically and mentally rewarding as martial arts.

      I’ve been in a gi since I got out of diapers. I started off in karate, then jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai, and finally wrestled in high school. Practicing martial arts has not only made me better at kicking and punching. The endurance, the mental discipline, the balance and flexibility, and the strength I’ve gained from martial arts have tremendous carryover to my performance in other sports.Endurance is important when practicing martial arts. In practice, in competition, and in self-defense situations, having the endurance to execute techniques is vital to safety. Martial arts emphasizes endurance with cross-training and technique drills.

      Before and after martial arts practice, classes will typically jog around for 10-15 minutes to increase heart rate and warm up the muscles. Sometimes the time spent jogging will be longer. Other times the intensity of the jog will be higher.

      Endurance is also improved through technique drills. Hitting pads and shadowboxing for prolonged periods increases heart rate and over time, improves overall endurance. This endurance translates well to sports with lots of running and prolonged periods of play such as soccer, basketball, and tennis.

      Martial arts teaches mental discipline. In most schools, students are discouraged from picking fights, abusing drugs, and bullying others. Students are rather taught to be humble, to live a healthy lifestyle, and to work hard. My school had its own honor system, with rules that emphasized the values of good character and good work ethic.

      The values and discipline learned through martial arts follow students to school, work, and other sports. Martial arts training requires focus inside and outside of the dojo. Being attentive and obeying instructors is crucial to martial arts learning. Success only follows consistent hard work and focus towards one’s craft.

      The discipline gained from martial arts makes an athlete more coachable and disciplined in other sports. Athletes will be able to pick up techniques more quickly and have greater focus on the court or field.

      Many of the techniques in martial arts require great balance and flexibility. Both of these skills are emphasized in schools with drills, and static and dynamic stretching. Static and dynamic stretching is a key part of every warm-up.

      Some techniques require more balance and flexibility than others. Front kicks, for example, require balance to plant one foot on the ground while kicking with the other. Front kicks also require great flexibility to bring the kicking foot to appropriate height. The consistent repetition of techniques like this will improve flexibility and balance over time.

      The balance and flexibility gained from martial arts can be almost universally beneficial to performance in other sports. In fact, I can’t think of a single sport where increased balance and flexibility wouldn’t be helpful. Balance and flexibility is even crucial in dynamic sports like football, wrestling, and basketball.

      Another benefit of martial arts training is strength. No, doing karate or jiu-jitsu won’t make anyone look like a bodybuilder, but the functional strength necessary to perform techniques will be useful in other sports.

      In martial arts, core strength is the base of every technique. The power generated for every kick, punch, and throw goes through the core. The core is also responsible for keeping proper posture and breathing. Many classes will emphasize core strength by doing core workouts such as planks and crunches.

      While the core is the primary focus of martial arts strength training, the rest of the muscles are not neglected. Drilling techniques makes the body more efficient at channeling its own strength. For example, an inexperienced martial artist may only throw punches using their arms. But a more experienced artist understands how to use the entire body to punch.

      Core strength is important for any sport, especially ones requiring a repeated exertion of force. Martial arts core training will help anyone’s performance in kicking a ball, throwing a ball, etc. Martial arts will also improve an athlete’s efficiency in using their own strength. Being more efficient will conserve energy and increase output in any sport.

      Martial arts is one of the most challenging and rewarding sports there is. Training requires a serious amount of focus and athleticism that will not only make a better martial artist, but a better overall athlete. The passive skills such as endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance cross over to almost every sport. The mental discipline will help out in sports, school, and everything in between.

      How to Keep Your Child Active

      How To Keep Your Child Active

      Keeping your child active throughout their formative years is essential to ensuring that they grow up to be healthy and strong. There are many methods that you can use to encourage your child to be as active as possible. It’s recommended that you try several of the following, as what’s beneficial for one child might not be for another.

      Sign Your Child Up For a Martial Arts Class

      Martial arts is one of the premier types of physical activity for a child, as it provides a wide range of benefits. Martial arts classes will keep your child healthy and fit, while also providing them with the tools necessary to develop useful skills that will help them later in life. Classes of this nature have the added advantage of being very fun to participate in, so your child should require very little convincing to consider attending martial arts classes.

      Not only does practicing martial arts keep your child active, it also boosts their strength, balance, coordination and speed. These classes have been known to assist children in the development of positive character traits, while also helping them learn problem solving skills. A healthy self-esteem is also essential to a child’s development, which martial arts classes can provide. These classes can be even more fun for your child if they attend with a friend.

      Act As a Role Model

      One of the most important aspects of getting your kid to actually be interested in staying active is to be active yourself as well. Being a role model to your child in this regard has proven to work wonders in pushing them to start enjoying these activities. Consider planning an active family outing that everyone in the family can enjoy together.

      Limit TV and Computer Time

      Getting your children to spend their free time wisely is oftentimes a tricky thing to do. In order to promote a more active lifestyle, consider placing a limit on the amount of time your child can spend on the TV and computer during the day. It’s recommended that total screen time across all electronic devices is limited to around 1-2 hours each day. Encourage your child to spend their free time doing some sort of physical activity.

      Choose a Physical Activity Depending on Age

      Not all types of physical activity are suitable for younger children. For instance, the types of activities that a five year old might find interesting and fun can differ greatly from what a 13 year old enjoys. There are also certain activities that are suitable for all ages, such as riding bicycles and swimming. As your child grows older, start to suggest additional types of physical activities that will expand their interests and keep them active. These activities can include martial arts, hiking, school sports or even yoga.

      Make Sure Physical Activity Is Fun Instead of Overdone

      Many adults that attempt to stay active are put off of it by working out too strenuously at the very beginning. This issue is particularly difficult to navigate when it comes to children, as the best way to ensure that a child stays active is for the physical activities they participate in to be fun, instead of feeling like work. Tell your child that they need to pay attention to what their body is telling them. When they start to feel some slight pain or frustration when working out, they need to understand that this is the exact time when they need to quit and move on to less demanding activities.
      Overdoing a physical activity is not only painful, but can be a huge detriment to actually enjoying the physical activity. In order to make sure that your child isn’t overdoing it, pay attention to their weight. If it drops too much, this may be a sign that they’re working out too strenuously. You also don’t want the physical activities they do to interfere with their workout. To avoid this, try to make a scheduled time for your child to complete these physical activities. This schedule will act as a reminder to them as well.

      Suggesting a Variety of Activities Will Keep Your Child Interested

      The key towards keeping your child active is for that child to find an activity, or multiple activities, that they will be interested in. While you might find baseball fun, your child might not and could quickly grow bored of it. You want them to develop their interests on their own, so simply encourage your child by providing them with a list of suggestions. There are a many physical activities that can be enjoyed by both boys and girls. Soccer, basketball, gymnastics, hide-and-seek and jumping rope are just some of the many activities that you should recommend. Even when a child enjoys something at one time, this doesn’t mean that they will continue to enjoy that activity months down the road.
      This is another reason as to why it’s so important that they try out several different physical activities. It’s also important to understand that children need three basic types of exercise, including aerobic, bone-strengthening and muscle-strengthening exercises. For aerobic exercises, running, biking and swimming are some of the most popular among children. Muscle-strengthening exercises include everything from climbing to sit-ups and push-ups, though children might find gymnastics more fun. As for bone-strengthening exercises, suggest activities like jumping rope and tennis to your child.

      Provide the Toys and Equipment Necessary For Physical Activities

      It’s important that your child has all of the toys and equipment necessary for the physical activities that they enjoy. For instance, if your child is interested in play soccer with a school team, make sure that they have all of the padding, shoes and equipment that’s necessary for such an activity. If not, they will quickly grow bored and won’t see the point in continuing. Keeping active toys around the home, such as a jumping rope and light weights, will encourage physical activity.

      How to Get Kids Interested in Martial Arts

      Today, it is more important than ever before that parents find ways to motivate their kids to engage in fitness activities. The childhood obesity epidemic that we are facing today is terrifying. One of the best ways for you to avoid your child becoming an obesity statistic is to encourage them to take up martial arts. A martial art will give children plenty of exercise to keep them in shape, and it will also teach them the values of discipline, honor and respect. To help parents motivate their children to take up taekwondo, karate or another martial discipline, here are some tips they can use to encourage kids to get interested in martial arts.

      Get Them Amped with Videos

      If children have never been exposed to videos featuring martial artists, they may have no idea what they are missing out on. Show them some clips of talented martial artists doing their thing, and you will be amazed at how quickly they get motivated to give it a try themselves. Don’t be surprised if they are doing some practice kicks and punches before the video is even over. Once you have shown them how cool the activity can be, they will be excited to attend their first class.

      The More the Merrier

      One of the biggest reasons that children decide to do anything is because their friends are doing it. Parents can use this fact to their advantage when it comes to encouraging their children to start a new martial art. First, ask your children if they have any friends who are already practicing taekwondo or karate. If they are, it will be easy for you to convince them to join their friends to have fun.

      If your child doesn’t already have friends working out in a dojo, talk to the parents of their friends. Organize a meeting to get together and talk about encouraging the entire group of friends to start training in a martial art. When children have friends to be with in an activity, they will encourage and support each other. This makes it much more likely that they will stick with the activity they are enjoying together.

      Go to a Tournament

      One of the best ways parents can get their kids excited about something is to take them to an organized event. There are frequents martial art tournaments held all over the country. With a little research, you can find one that will soon be in your area. Take your kid to see some exciting live karate or taekwondo action, and you will likely find that they are asking to try the fun for themselves before you even make it home from the tournament.

      Make It a Family Affair

      The fitness benefits of practicing a martial art are not just limited to children. Parents will also benefit hugely from the better fitness and mental discipline they develop by practicing it. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for parents to take a jujitsu or karate class with their children. When families share the fun of the activity, it makes it a bonding tool that will bring the family closer together. Children look up to and want to emulate their folks. Take advantage of this by joining in a martial art with them.

      As you can see, there are many options parents can use to encourage their children to take up a martial art. Sometimes, a combination of these tips will work best. The key is to keep trying until you find something that works. However, don’t press too hard or you risk pushing them away. Always let the child come to the decision to start without pressure.

      Great Activities for Kids in the Summer

      Summer Activities for Kids

      Summer vacation is any kid’s favorite time of year. Some of the best summer activities involve refreshing, tasty snacks. One activity you can do with kids is baking cooking for homemade ice cream sandwiches. Kids love them, and parents do, too. You can find plenty of easy recipes online to make it a fun, carefree experience. If you’re looking for something requiring a little more effort, you could host a Hawaiian luau in the backyard. Whip out the grill, distribute leis to guests, and have the kids put on a little hula show. This could also be a fun opportunity to learn about Hawaiian culture. If you want a simpler summer feast, take the kids to a picnic at the closest state park. Summer is the best time to experience nature.

      Speaking of nature, going to the beach is a classic way to soak up some summer sun. Kids love to play in the water and build sandcastles. If you don’t have any beach toys, you could even bring old Tupperware and buckets for just as much fun. To nurture kids’ curiosity, have them pick up interesting rocks and shells – they could even start a collection. Kids also love scavenger hunts, and outdoor hunts offer the best opportunities to explore. You could turn it into a literacy activity by having kids look for items that start with each letter of the alphabet.

      Benefits of Martial Arts

      Summer is a good time to try out a new sport or hobby. Martial arts practice is one the best activities for kids because it promotes a happy and healthy lifestyle which kids will carry with them into the future. Martial arts help kids feel more secure because they learn self-defense techniques. They also a learn a variety of other physical skills which are useful throughout the lifespan; these include coordination, balance, and overall fitness. Along with physical skills, kids learn more functional life skills such as maintaining focus, building confidence, respecting others, persisting in difficult tasks, and working on a team.

      You may worry that these types of sports are too violent for kids. Rest assured that kids learn both defensive strategies and non-violent conflict resolution skills. Most programs target specific age groups, so the skills being taught are age-appropriate. The integration of strength and character development is what makes this practice so effective. Kids learn the skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Martial artists are adept at self-control, a skill that many kids could definitely benefit from practicing. Kids also learn to set goals while working within the colored belt system, advancing toward the black belt. The black belt is a symbol of success and perseverance. Kids learn to set short, intermediate, and long-term goals. Martial artists are aware of their strengths and challenges and experience more peace as a result of this self-awareness. It is best to get kids started in practicing and developing these skills at a young age.

      Pat Morgan

      Winter Activities For Kids

      Between the cold temperatures and the snow and ice outside, it’s no surprise that so many kids would rather stay inside with a video game or the television. The more time that those children spend inside inactive and snacking, the more likely it is that they will gain weight.

      Parents and educators can look for some creative winter activities during those long winter months to keep kids healthy and moving.

       

      Use Nearby Facilities

      Many parents may not consider taking advantage of nearby recreation centers and other facilities that kids can use in winter.

      An ice skating rink is a good way for kids to have fun and get plenty of exercise. They can have fun learning the basics of balancing while moving across the ice.

      If the city has a branch of the YMCA, kids can also use the facilities there. Most locations have indoor racquetball, tennis and basketball courts as well as swimming pools.

       

      Embrace the Cold

      Instead of shunning the cold and staying inside, parents can encourage their kids to embrace the cold weather outside. Nothing beats the fun and excitement that comes from a snowball fight, and adults can turn a simple snowball fight into a game of capture the flag.

      Kids may also love building a snowman family together and decorating those figures with their friends or siblings.

       

      Take Classes

      Kids who hate the idea of going outside in the snow and ice might like the idea of taking an indoor class with other kids in their age group. This helps them see that they can still have fun when the temperature drops.

      An indoor swimming class is a good choice for kids who want to learn something new or who love the water. Other activities that are suitable for keeping kids active in the long winter months include gymnastics and karate classes.

       

      Do Chores Together

      Children often learn by example. If they see their parents remaining active, they’ll want to stay active, too. Doing chores together is one of the easiest ways for parents to set a good example for their kids.

      This can include doing the dishes, vacuuming or even rearranging the furniture in the room. Parents and kids can also shovel the walk and clean off the family cars together as some examples of helpful winter activities.

      It doesn’t take a lot to get kids active, but it does require the involvement of adults.

       

      Fun exercises for kids

      With so much digital stimulation available today such as video games, tablets and the like, instant gratification has become the most important consideration for a child to deem an activity as fun. But whatever happened to good, old-fashioned play time? Many kids end up sitting on the sofa with a device in their hands rather than playing outside. The result is that children are packing on more pounds than they used to, which puts them at risk for a host of diseases.

      Here are some fun exercises for kids. They won’t realize they’re exercising since they will be too busy having fun to care.kids-exercising

      • Monkeying around – Challenge a child to complete a playground obstacle course in a timed fashion. Whoever gets through the entire course wins. By including requirements like going down the slide five times, climbing the monkey bars from one side to the other, scaling the jungle gym or running two laps around the perimeter, children will learn to complete fitness goals. Parental involvement is more important than people realize. Parents can get in on the fun to make the challenge more real.

       

      • Scavenger hunt – Hide treasures around the house, both inside and out. Then write clues on index cards suggesting a method of exercise to use to get to the next location. For example, if the child is to advance to the deck from the kitchen suggest they go where the sunshine meets their face and the wind greets their hair, but use jumping jacks to get there.

       

      • Animal yoga – Kids are so flexible. Capitalize on that by introducing them to yoga. The poses they’ll do emulate cats arching their backs and snakes slithering along the ground. Encourage children to make the animal sounds as they perfect the pose. Between the giggles they will strengthen their core and leg muscles.

       

      • Video games rock – Don’t forget the video games! Many game developers create games that encourage movement and exercise. Join in the fun and make the activity a family affair.

      Children can be coerced off the couch. They are still children after all and will have fun the moment they begin playing. It just takes a little planning to find some great exercises for kids they’ll actually want to do!

      Recess is necessary for proper child development

      Schools are in a tough spot these days.

      Between the pressures to meet minimum student performance standards and needing to work within slimmer budget constraints, recess has become an expendable program. More time is spent in class and fewer resources are needed for playground supervision and maintenance.

      It is a decision that seems straightforward on the surface but, as it turns out, could have a host of negative unintended consequences.

       

      Grades could suffer

      Many studies have been conducted on the relationship between recess and grades. The results indicate that a mental and physical break from classes helps to refocus the kids’ attention span and burn off extra energy that is distracting in the classroom.

      Kids are naturally active and curious about the world around them. They are not well suited to extended periods of prolonged concentration such as sitting in a classroom without some form of mental and physical break.

      After sitting for a while kids (as well as adults) start to get fidgety and cannot concentrate on what they should be. The mind starts to wander and the lessons being taught in the classroom become

      Recess is also the time where kids can interact with their peers, learning through shared experience and building social development skills. These are lessons that can’t be taught from a book. They have to be experienced to learn from.

       

      Improved health

      Another huge concern for schools these days is the physical health of their students. Recess affords kids an opportunity to run and play which helps to burn calories, build muscle and provides aerobic exercise.

      With concerns over childhood obesity and related illnesses, providing a health school lunch does very little good if they aren’t allowed time to exercise. And with gym classes being cut as well, some students don’t get any physical activity at all while at school.

      Schools across the country are starting to realize that eliminating recess is a poor option for them and their students. In some cases, recess is making a comeback which is good news for the overall happiness and well being of the students.