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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Turnersville, NJ (Grassroots Newswire) January 15, 2019 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued the second edition of their Physical Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 12.26.38Activity Guidelines for Americans, providing science-based guidance to help people ages three years and older improve their health through participation in regular physical activity.* For the child development professionals at The Little Gym of Washington Township, the report’s Key Guidelines for preschoolers, children and adolescents reaffirmed the premise underlying all of the programs offered by the child-focused fitness center: families need a safe, fun, year-round outlet for their child to get and stay physically active.

“For parents of preschoolers and young children, the new ‘guidelines’ may appear to be re-stating the obvious: young children need to be active,” said Mitchell Kantrowitz of The Little Gym of Washington Township. “But the research behind the guidelines underscores the lifelong value of making vigorous physical activity a priority in your child’s schedule.”

The Key Guidelines* issued by HHS state that preschool-aged children (ages three through five years) should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development and children and adolescents (ages six through 17 years) should do 60 minutes (one hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. This level of regular physical activity, according to the report,** can help children maintain a healthy weight; build healthy bones, muscles, and joints; and even make them more likely to become active and healthy adults. In addition to the health benefits, the new report states that 60 minutes of physical activity daily has a strong impact on academic performance and social skills. Active children display improved test scores, grades, and time management skills; boosted concentration, memory and classroom behavior; increased self-confidence and self-esteem; strengthened social and cooperative skills, such as teamwork and problem solving; and reduced anxiety and stress. In addition, studies show that physically active students score higher on standardized tests and have better grades, particularly in math, English and reading.

“Most parents wouldn’t argue with the importance of keeping their kids active,” said Kantrowitz. “The challenge is coming up with safe, engaging activities that fit today’s busy schedules and winter’s shorter days.” The key, says Kantrowitz is making the activity fun. “If children are having fun as they tumble, run and play, then healthy habits will follow.”

Kantrowitz offers some suggestions for high-energy, fun, indoor activities to get kids of all ages moving:

* Create an indoor obstacle course with couch cushions, blankets, and dining chairs. If space permits, add activity stations for jumping jacks and forward rolls
* Blow up a balloon and see how long the kids can keep it up in the air without touching the ground
* Have a dance party or play freeze dance with your favorite music

“Child-focused activity centers like The Little Gym of Washington Township are another option, and, as featured recently in a national lifestyle magazine, Good Housekeeping***, a great gift-giving ‘experience’ alternative to toys and video games,” Kantrowitz says. “We offer age-appropriate exercises and group activities in a safe environment where children can develop an appreciation for an active lifestyle. Our programs combine physical development with activities that promote sharing, listening, and friendship. At The Little Gym, kids have some ‘Serious Fun’ while becoming confident, proud young people ready for new challenges.”

For more information about The Little Gym of Washington Township,  go to www.TheLittleGym.com.

About The Little Gym
The Little Gym is an internationally recognized program that helps children build the developmental skills and confidence needed at each stage of childhood. The very first location was established in 1976 by Robin Wes, an innovative educator with a genuine love for children. The Little Gym International, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., was formed in 1992 to franchise The Little Gym concept. Today, The Little Gym International has over 400 locations in 32 countries. For more information, visit The Little Gym at https://www.TheLittleGym.com.