Fitness Friday: Set Summer Health+Wellness Goals!

“With KidFit I learned that there’s more to fitness than just exercise. I’ve also learned that I can achieve my goals if I try hard enough.”

-Damian, KidFit Athlete

 

Founder Maggie and her husband Dave running the Seattle Marathon

Founder Maggie and her husband Dave running the Seattle Marathon

One of the most powerful motivators to get and stay healthy is to set goals!  By stating something specific you want to achieve, you are much more likely to achieve it.  Who knows? You might even surprise yourself and surpass your goals.

Whenever I start training for a race, I always set goals for myself around time, feeling, training, and nutrition. By taking a more holistic approach, I am able to truly improve my whole self and feel much healthier overall!  Below, find some resources and tips as YOU set some summer wellness goals.

Happy goal-setting!:-)

TIPS:

  • It is important to set your goals high enough so that they are not easy to attain but realistic enough that they are possible.
  • Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) goals.  Video explaining this here.
  • Set goals around different aspects of your life: fitness (sign up for a race); nutrition (eat more veggies and less sugar); general lifestyle (take a walk mid afternoon 4 days/week)
  • Recruit a friend or family member to take the challenge as well
  • Challenge yourself and have fun!

Here are some resources to help you set goals and stay on target:

Fitness Friday: Staying Active During the Hectic Summer Months

Do you feel too busy to get in a good workout?  Are you traveling a lot this summer? 

Don’t worry!  KidFit is here to help you find ways to stay active, even in the often hectic/crazy summer months!

Busy schedules, traveling, and finicky weather can make it incredibly challenging to get in your workout during the summer months.  However, it is easy to get a good workout in no matter where you are!   Use these tips and circuit workouts to help keep you active no matter the circumstance.

Using body weight, these exercises can give you a great workout without having to leave your house and are great ways to incorporate fitness into you summer routine, especially if you find yourself traveling and/or with a difficult schedule!  Mix and match exercises to keep things interesting.

Tips for Staying Active, EVEN When Busy and/or Traveling:

  • Create a routine and STICK with it
  • Have a workout buddy to help keep you accountable
  • Set goals and track your progress
  • Make an awesome playlist and/or put on some pump up music to help you find your groove
  • Do exercises at the same time each day to create a pattern
  • Bring workout clothes on trips to remind you to stay active; always be prepared

Example Circuit Workouts: Use these to get a full body, awesome workout using body weight alone! Mix and match exercises and combine with a good jog/walk to really feel the powerful effects of fitness.

Circuit 1: Complete each exercise for 1 minute.

  • Jump rope (or jumping in place if no rope)
  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • High Plank
  • Squat jumps
  • Side Planks (30 seconds each side)

Circuit 2: Complete the routine 2-3 times.

  • 25 burpees
  • 15 lunges, each side
  • 25 chair dips
  • 1 minute jump rope (or jumping in place)
  • 25 “V” ups (start laying on your back, lift arms and legs to form a “V,” return to starting position)
  • 25 step ups (find a sturdy chair and/or stair and step up 25 times with each leg; best if the height puts your knee at a 90 degree angle when stepping up)
  • Repeat 1-2 times.

Circuit 3: Repeat the following exercises 3-5 times.

  • 25 jumps (either jump rope or standard jumps)
  • 25 squats
  • 25 push ups
  • 25 sit ups

Community Post: Meet the AMAZING kiddos in a KidFit Academy Classroom!

We are thrilled to give you a brief glimpse into our program with some pictures and a short profile of our amazing kindergarten scholar athletes at Aspire Berkley Maynard AcademyAmie, their extraordinary teacher, has been working with them for several months and the results have been truly INSPIRING!

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End of the Year Celebration

Yesterday, we had the privilege of attending the Cal Poly Mustangs End of the Year Picnic and KidFit Celebration!  We were so impressed!  The students not only were able to explain complex skills like confidence, goal-setting, focus, perseverance, and determination, they also got moving!  The students led their families through their midday yoga circuit.  It was truly amazing to see 6 year olds leading their parents through a Warrior sequence!  Hats off to you Ms. L and the Cal Poly Mustangs!  :-)

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 About the Cal Poly Mustang, from their teacher Amie

The Cal Poly Mustangs are an active group of kindergartners working hard to grow their brains through rigorous academics and using CARES (Cooperation, Assertiveness, Responsibility, Empathy, Self-Control). Our daily schedule includes cooperative learning, independent practice, small group instruction, integrated units of science and social studies instruction, math, writing, reading, Music, Art, and Physical Education.

 

Fitness Friday: Fun Ways to Stay Active This Summer!!!

Happy Fitness Friday!

Looking for fun ways to stay active this summer?  We have created a list of some fun games, tips, and resources that will help you keep active, have fun, and make the most of the summertime!

Have a game/tip/resource we missed?  Feel free to share!:-)

Tips for Staying Active This Summer

  • Have lawn games (bocce, badminton, volleyball, kickball, basketball, baseball) available at summer BBQs to create options for people to stay active
  • With temperatures going up, be sure to complete more strenuous activities in the morning or evening when the day is cooler!
  • Always have LOTS of water handy!  Hydration is SUPER important.
  • Play some music and have an impromptu dance party!
  • Make a goal for staying active and track your progress!  Let’s Move has some great resources to get you started!

Summer Games: These are sure to bring the fun to any summer gathering

Freeze Dance

  1. Play some music.
  2. Have someone stop the music at random times.
  3. Everybody freezes when the music stops.  For extra fun, have everyone make a pose according to a “theme.”  EXAMPLE: Show us your STRONG pose! J
  4. Optional: If someone does not freeze, they are ‘out.’  Play until there is one person left in the game!
  5. Relay Races
  1. Split into teams with even amounts of people.
  2. Create a start and end point.
  3. Have each person run (or skip, jump, hop, crawl, dance, etc.) from one designated spot to another.
  4. The race is over when each person has had a turn.
  5. Get creative with what each race entails. EXAMPLE: Skip to cone.  Twirl 3 times. Do 5 jumping jacks. Shuffle back.

Lawn/Outdoor Games!

  • Kickball
  • Baseball/Whiffle Ball
  • Volleyball
  • Catch
  • Four Square
  • Hopscotch
  • Jump Rope
  • Hula Hoops
  • Basketball

Pool Games

Resources: Here is a list of some great resources for games, ways to stay active, and general health/wellness!

Playworks—Games

Let’s Move—What to Do

KaBOOM!—Playgrounds

Community Post–Meet Diana, amazing founding board member!

“I love the idea of creating students who are athletes “by choice” – to empower students in a way that makes them excited to be more active is really inspiring!”        –Diana K.

             

Happy Wednesday!  For this week’s community post, we have the pleasure to hear from one of KidFit’s fabulous founding Board Members!  We cannot wait for you to get know the extraordinary Diana!

Enjoy!:-)

 

Notes from the Field: An Interview with a KidFit Academy Board Member

Introducing…

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Diana K.

Coordinator of College Readiness, Oakland Unified School District; KidFit Academy founding Board Member

 

KidFit: Tell us about yourself!

Diana K. – As an educational advocate and school counselor, I hold a deep commitment to the whole child as well as equitable opportunities for kids, no matter their circumstance. I hold a BA in Psychology from the University of Southern California, an MS in Counseling from Loma Linda University, and a CA state Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential. Currently, I work as a Coordinator of College Readiness in Oakland Unified School District and have served on the board of two other non-profits in the Greater Bay Area. I am an avid runner, having completed three marathons along with dozens of half-marathons and know first-hand the power of exercise & health on well-being and overall happiness.

KF: Briefly, tell us your background in education and/or health & wellness.

DK: I have worked for Oakland Unified School District for four years, and prior to that at an educational advocacy organization which sought to promote equity for all students. Health & wellness has been a personal “hobby” of mind for the past several years since I began running and cross-training.

KF: What motivated you to join KidFit Academy’s board?

DK: I love the vision that [founder] Maggie has for the organization and possibilities for positive change KidFit can bring to a school and its community. I also am always happy to volunteer to help a great cause!

KF: What are you most excited about for KidFit’s future?

DK: I am really excited to see how widely it grows across the Bay Area, and hopefully beyond!

KF: What speaks to you most about KidFit’s mission and vision?

DK: I love the idea of creating students who are athletes “by choice” – to empower students in a way that makes them excited to be more active is really inspiring!

KF: What would you say to other people looking to get involved with KidFit Academy?

DK: Talk with Maggie (of course!), but also look into possibly observing a classroom lesson. Seeing the impact of even a short lesson where students are practicing focus and wellness is a powerful demonstration of the power of the program!

KF: What do you hope to accomplish as a founding Board Member of KidFit Academy?

DK: I’d like to use my experience from other non-profit Boards to help KidFit establish itself as a thriving organization. I also hope to see KidFit grow and impact more and more students all the time.:)

Fitness Friday–Healthy Summer Snacks

Short on time but want to have yummy, healthy snacks?  Let this guide help you out!

As summer approaches and schedules get turned a bit upside down (especially when kids are out of school), finding good, healthy, tasty snacks to fuel your days can seem a bit intimidating. 

Have no fear! 

Below is a collection of recipes, ideas, and tips for making sure that your snacks are healthy, delicious, and able to fuel your healthy lifestyle!

Healthy Snack Tips: Follow this tips to ensure smart snacking!

  • Prepare snacks in advance to ensure portion control and quality
  • Always have an extra healthy snack with you to avoid unhealthy temptations  
  • When looking for prepared snacks, carefully examine ingredients, especially sugar content.  In general, look for products where you can pronounce all of the ingredients.
  • When short on time, fruit, veggie sticks, and nuts/seeds are great options!
  • Don’t forget to drink water!!!  Unsweetened ice tea is always a refreshing option.

Healthy Snack Ideas: Here are some quick ideas for delicious and nutritious snacks!

  • Cut up veggie sticks (carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers, etc.)
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Veggies and (healthy) guacamole
  • Fruit: bananas, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples, pears, organs, etc.
  • Apple slices with some cinnamon sprinkled on top
  • Nuts & Seeds (be sure to be careful with portions!)
  • All-fruit (and veggie) smoothies

Recipes: If you are feeling adventurous, these are some great recipes to try!

Apple Chips

Cranberry Chocolate Power Bars

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sweet Potato Fries

“Fruit by the Foot”

Grain Free Graham Crackers

Mini Frittata Muffins

Homemade Trail Mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together nuts & seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.) with a touch of coconut oil and seasonings. I also like to add some dried coconut.  

3. Place on foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

 

 

Community Post–Finding your Sweaty T-Shirt

Happy National Running Day! 

For this Community Post, I reflect on my personal journey—with fitness, running, teaching, and KidFit.  I love that I get to share this on National #RunningDay since running has played such as transformative and important role in my life.  Enjoy!  

:-) Maggie

 


 

What is your Sweaty T-Shirt? Helping Students Find Their Way

It was fifth grade and I was going on my first road run.  Coming from a family of runners, this was a big deal.  I could not wait to run like the “big kids.”  It was probably only 2-3 miles, but to me, it was my “marathon”—a huge challenge that I had to work to overcome.   The run was tough, but I pushed through it.  And I was proud.

As we were stretching after the run, my Coach all of a sudden got very serious.

He pointed to his t-shirt and said, “THIS (sweaty t-shirt)…this is what you should look like.  If you don’t have THIS, you can push yourself harder.”

Ever the perfectionist, I looked down and saw (with relief!) that I did, in fact, have a sweaty t-shirt. Mission Accomplished!

At the time, I did not think much of it, but the story has stuck with me.  It was not about being the fastest runner, but rather about trying your best—no matter what.  To my coach, that meant working so hard that you had a sweaty t-shirt—a visible manifestation of hard work, showing that you were on path to reach your personal goals.  

I have never been the fastest, strongest or best when it comes to athletics. In fact, I identify myself as an “athlete by choice—not design.” Despite my lack of natural ability, however, I have always had DRIVE—the guts and grit to never give it, despite any physical/mental challenges that come my way.  Growing up, this meant that I often got the often considered less desirable awards at end-of-season celebrations— “most determined,” “most improved,” “most enthusiastic.”  I was never the MVP, but I took pride in my hard work. 

This mindset has stuck with me.  I remember a moment in my first year of teaching when I had simply had enough.  I was stressed, unpleasant to be around, and generally not happy.  Then, I made the decision to truly prioritize fitness and exercise; at the time, my routine had been spotty at best.  I signed up for my first half marathon, joined a gym, and made exercise/fitness a daily routine.  The change was practically instantaneous.  Once I took care of myself and invited fitness back into my life, I was a transformed person.  I was happier, a better roommate, a better friend, and definitely a better teacher.  I made the choice to be an athlete as an adult and have never looked back.

Despite my own personal revelation with the importance of fitness, I was frustrated with the lack of meaningful opportunities for my students to get active. They had PE once, maybe twice a week for less than an hour, a handful of afterschool athletic opportunities, and very little chances to play outside at home due to unsafe conditions. 

This did not seem fair. 

They were in school for 8 (or more!) hours a day with very little movement.  As an adult, I needed to move around and required exercise before or after work in order to function as a happy, productive person.  Yet my kids did not have this chance.  As a teacher, I tried to incorporate movement into my lessons, but the truth was that I did not have the time to plan anything truly meaningful or purposeful, especially as a young teacher.

So, over time, with students and teachers always at the forefront of my mind, the idea for KidFit emerged.

KidFit Academy works with teachers to provide a program that seamlessly integrates purposeful fitness throughout the school day.  We do this by empowering teachers with the materials and support needed to promote health, enhance academics, and improve classroom culture through purposeful fitness education.

This is not a Band-Aid solution but rather a holistic approach to change what the school day looks like by adding meaningful, strategic activity brain breaks at critical moments throughout the day. Our teachers seamlessly integrate the program so that it becomes an integral part of the school day, not an “extra” that is taken away or skipped when things get busy.  In current and past programs, teachers have seen their students and classrooms truly thrive.  KidFit teaches kids to love fitness and view it simply as a part of their day; it is not about winning or being the best, it is about working hard, setting goals, and having fun! 

Through KidFit, teachers are helping kids find their “sweaty t-shirt”— the manifestation of their hard work, the thing that shows them that they are on the way to achieving their goals.

So, I ask (appropriately on National Running Day), what is your sweaty t-shirt?