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Getting Kids to Get Fit


Posted by Julie M.

My son, like his dad, is a serial team sports player. Since he started tee-ball in preschool and moved on to basketball, baseball, soccer, and golf, and lacrosse, it's never been hard to get him to exercise since he's always been on one team or another, and he's now 14. My daughter, on the other hand, tried team sports, and after two years of soccer and three of basketball, decided she'd had enough. Not a sports gal myself, I totally understood, but the P.E. program at most schools isn't enough to keep a kid fit, so what could my daughter do for exercise? (She had also tried tap, ballet, and hip hop dance as well as gymnastics, but nothing stuck.) Believe it or not, the answer came in the form of circus camp. Yes, here in San Francisco we're blessed with two circus schools, and both of them run summer camps. My daughter started with a week of circus camp when she was seven and loved it. She learned to juggle, tumble, and various trampoline stunts, and she discovered her amazing flexibility which led her to try contortion, and now I am the proud parent of a 12-year-old contortionist who trains nine hours a week and performs in youth circus shows twice a year. Needless to say she is strong and fit just like her brother. No, I'm not suggesting you have to sign your kids up for circus camp. But there are creative ways, from yoga to tai chi to rollar skating, to get even the most non-sporty kid out there to get moving.
 
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I couldn't agree more. The point is to get kids moving. We tried swimming, soccer and baseball, but it wasn't until we started ice skating that my kids really started getting active. It was like throwing fish into water. They were immediately hooked. They both now play for the Jr. Sharks and are in terrific shape. The point is to keep trying things until you find something your kids love.
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