The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Healthy Youth Parties - Fun Exercise, No Junk Food

Mike is a Fitness Fixer reader who fixed many injuries - impinged shoulder, hip pain, radiating pain down the leg, and bad nutrition from sports food that is really junk food in a sporty label. In December, he sent us his reader success story that I posted in A Whole Big Fix. In the comments of a follow-up post on the December 28 2007 Fast Fitness - Dynamic Partner Balance Challenge, Mike wrote,

"I'm going to use some of your partner exercises as breaks for my students. They will get blood moving, muscles exercising and coordinating, and they will probably giggle. These will be a nice break from sitting so long.

Mike kept his promise and sent this update:

"This whole year we have not had food at our class parties, with no complaints from students. We just play games involving social interaction. I have tried to have "healthy food parties." In the past, parents send boxes of food-like substances that say, "whole grains" on the sides but still are very processed, loaded with sugar, and have a lot of the nutrition processed out (like granola bars, sports drinks, and "fruit" roll-ups). So, it's easier just to not allow any food.

"The kids still have a blast instead of just sitting and stuffing their faces with cupcakes and cookies (I have 3 ten-year-olds who weigh over 135 lbs). We are taking exercise breaks.

Mike couldn't send photos of actual kids because of privacy and other issues, so I asked Mike if he would share some of the fun activities they do. He wrote:

"We just had our Valentine's Day party with cut up fruit. They were only allowed to put candy in the individual cards if they chose to, so we didn't have mounds of cup cakes and cookies. We had pineapple, apples, kiwi, two kinds of grapes, and oranges. No one complained. The kids played board games only, no electronic solitary games. They played games like Cranium, Jenga, Life, and Yahtzee, which encourage lots of dialog.

The same day we did an analysis of "Vitamin Water," which shows 13 g of sugar on the label. The whole bottle has 6.5 teaspoons of sugar in it, so I spooned 6.5 tsp. of sugar into a similar sized glass of water and dropped a multi-vitamin in it to show what they are paying for."

Readers, have fun getting ideas throughout the Fitness Fixer column, and send in your stories, and photos where appropriate.

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.