Motivating Our Kids Through Local Clubs and Classes
by Kathryn Streeter
It’s not always easy to inspire our youth to pull themselves off the couch and get moving. I can hear my kids make the same excuses I make to myself: It’s too hot! Too much to do! I don’t feel up to it, maybe tomorrow! Below are six resources to help your kids and you leave the excuses on the couch and get out for some exercise.
Marathon Kids Club
For kids who don’t picture themselves as runners, start with your nearest Marathon Kids Club, an organic organization whose mission is “to get kids moving”. Created and supported by parent-coaches, the program gathers locally to have fun running together, and consequently, deeply imbed healthy habits in children to encourage a life-time of physical activity.
The YMCA partners with parents of kids who are struggling with their weight. Kids Health includes Healthy Weight and Your Child, a highly-personalized program designed to encourage healthy decisions about food and physical activity. It requires a parent’s participation, citing research showing children are more apt to adopt long-lasting lifestyle change when family is involved. Questions? Call 713-758-9179 for more information and/or to register. The YMCA also offers classes where kids 12+ can join. Other YMCA offerings to integrate fitness into your child’s life include youth classes for 8-11 yr-olds and classes in which 12+ can join parents. Think: dance and kick-boxing!
Color Fun Fest
Want to get messy while you run? Well, I bet your kids will! Color Fun Fest is a 5k run (and festival) for the whole family offering a day or night start time in which 10,000 pounds of color is showered on you while running. To show off the effect, they suggest wearing white clothing, and bonus—if you run at night the color dispensed is glow-in-the-dark. Kids 12 and under run free. All proceeds from this festival will benefit Just Care More, a non-profit organization supporting inner-city children. Note: this year the run is May 12, so plan for next year if this year doesn’t work.
Cross Fit Kids
CrossFit Kids, courtesy of Grind House, states they want kids to be ‘just as involved in the gym as adults,’ referencing various research boasting the benefits of physical exercise— including enhanced academic performance. Classes meet Saturday mornings, and if desired, one-on-one lessons are available. Call 832-356-3655.
H20Safe is a Houston Parks and Recreation Program offering devoted to teaching kids to swim for free. Various levels of skill are offered but spaces fill up fast. Check into registration dates and jump on it if your child could benefit from swimming instruction. Note: this is one of many other great classes offered for kids.
With 3 locations in Houston, REI’s family-friendly programs are worth investigating. Heavy on outdoor experiences, REI teaches skills to families on store-premises as well as offering guided tours both near and far from home. For starters, per your families’ interests, get familiar with hiking with the family dog, backpacking basics, climbing, camp cooking, wilderness first-aid and many more classes. Also, peruse their expert advice tab for articles to educate yourself before doing your own family backpacking trek, for example.
Kathryn Streeter writes for Houston Family Magazine. Find her on Twitter, @streeterkathryn.