2013-03-22 / Sports

Ken and Jen’s Fitness Forum

By Jen Font de Bon & Kenny Peña

We’re Jen Font de Bon and Kenny Peña, certified trainers, spinning instructors and nutrition nuts from Suncycle Studios. Our goal is to help people reach theirs. We promote physical, mental and emotional health, aiding others in finding and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

According to the “American Heart Association” the obesity rate among children in the United States has more than quintupled over the past 50 years. Teach your kids healthy diet and exercise habits early for lifelong benefits. The following are ideas to help you guide children in making healthy choices:

TEACH BY EXAMPLE. Children are extremely observant and they learn from the adults in their life. If you want your kids to practice good nutrition and exercise the best thing you can do is practice these habits yourself.

INVOLVE THEM IN THE KITCHEN. Educate children about what they’re eating and why it’s good for them. Designate one day per week for the family to make a meal together. Before you start preparing do some research and as you cook talk to your kids about the health benefits of different ingredients in a language they understand. For example, almonds are packed with protein and good fats, which help us stay focused and energized throughout the day.

MODERATION AND NEGOTIATION. Living a healthy, balanced lifestyle usually means doing things we like to do; along with those we’d rather not. That’s where moderation and negotiation come in. It’s fine for kids to have idle downtime, so long as it’s not all the time. Give them an allotted amount of “veg time” per week that they can use after homework or on weekends. Also, try the “how’s about” technique. Encourage positive activities by involving children in the negotiation. For example, if they want to go for ice cream say, “How’s about we go for a bike ride, and on the way back we’ll stop for sorbet.”

ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. These days, between technology, hours of homework, long car rides, etc., children are sitting more than ever. A sedentary lifestyle encourages laziness and leads to many negative health effects. Push your kids to move in their free time.

Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. If they’re not proactive about running around outside or climbing on the monkey bars, add some structure. Sign them up for after-school group exercise classes. Suncycle Studios offers fun and exciting fitness classes for children ages 11 and up. Physical activity in group situations adds a social aspect, which makes it more fun and can be a great motivator. It also aids in the development of interpersonal skills.

People who start practicing healthy lifestyles as children are more likely to stick with it through adulthood. Benefits include improved mood, prevention against disease, boost in energy, better sleep cycles, fight against obesity, increased confidence, and less stress.

Questions, comments? E-mail us @ admin@suncyclestudios.com, call (718- 318-3410), or stop by Suncycle Studios (137 Beach 116th Street) to talk in person. Check our website for an up-todate schedule: suncyclestudios.com.

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