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"Preschool Fitness"

How often do we hear adults comment on how they can’t keep up with the boundless energy of children? Little ones are so active. A picture of perfect health. Surely, they don’t need to worry about diseases yet. And, why worry about what they eat now as long as a healthier diet is adopted later in childhood? The sad truth is that many devastating illnesses are now known to have their roots in early childhood. Diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and a myriad of problems stemming from obesity. The habits that lead to each of these are laid down early, during the preschool years. Experts agree, to reverse the above trends, efforts need to be put forth during the formative years. Before children leave Kindergarten, as young as age two. There are critical times for learning language, music and many skills. Physical skill development needs to be integrated at a young age too. Look at people who never learned how to bounce a ball or use a tennis racket. Sure, they can learn the skills as adults but not with the mastery or level of expertise and flow that comes from being taught the movements when young. When deprived of the ability to become competent at movement, children grow up to be adults with an aversion to sports and fitness. In today’s world we undoubtedly must try harder to guide adults into active lifestyles, not away from them. Children need to learn early that exercise is fun. That healthy eating makes sense. And that doing these things helps us take care of our bodies. Children taught physical education from a young age learn other things better too. All academic subjects can be enhanced through a regular fitness program for preschoolers. The social benefits help children deal with aggression and anger. And, kids are just better off all the way around – fewer colds, better immune function, greater self-esteem, they become more productive, more creative, less depressed, the list goes on. Fitness professionals and health educators have an obligation to help this needy segment of the population. It’s a group that can not speak for themselves. By the time they’re ready to plead for help, it will be years from now. As health professionals we all need to take a serious look at why we’re in this business. If we’re in it to really help people and to change the lives of our future generation, we need to start at the beginning. From the time children take their first steps. Think about what you can do to help a young life start out on the right foot. Find a way to instill healthy habits into little ones – you won’t be sorry. Readers can view a free different preschool (ages 2-K) P.E. activity each month here: http://www.kid-fit.com/free_pe_activities.html and a free quarterly newsletter here: http://www.kid-fit.com/kfnews.pdf

About the Author:
Michele Silence, M.A. is a 22-year fitness professional, trainer, educator and freelance writer. She is the owner of Aerobic Fitness Consultants, and the creator of KID-FIT, physical education classes for preschoolers. KID-FIT has been piloted nationwide, featured in the L.A. Times, on numerous television news shows and is currently listed by ‘Action For Healthy Kids’ as a program that works. Contact Michele at (626) 359-8535 or http://www.kid-fit.com . . .



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