In the midst of our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook the importance of daily physical activity. This applies to grown-ups and children alike. Many kids can’t wait to get home from school, only to spend the rest of the day on the couch. Long school breaks can bring even more hours in front of the TV or computer.
If the parents in your community are looking for a way to jump-start an active summer for their kids, the F.I.T.T. principle can make it easy. The initials represent four general components of a fitness plan: frequency, intensity, time and type. Each component can be customized to the child’s individual goals and abilities. Making a plan with the F.I.T.T. principle will help kids form a life-long love of daily activity.
Check it out and pass it on to encourage summer registrations in your programs:
Step 1: Frequency
It’s important to do some type of physical activity every single day. Kids aren’t always naturally active, so parents may wish to limit their screen time. As role models, children also look up to their parents to help shape their perception of exercise. Consider offering classes and programs for parents and kids to take together or suggest existing options the whole family will enjoy.
Step 2: Intensity
The second step is to choose an activity for kids that’s moderate in intensity. Moderate intensity should feel comfortable but still feel like they’re working. For example, if they can carry on a conversation as if they were sitting down and talking with a friend, the activity is too easy. Also, try to add a few more vigorous activities throughout the week.
Step 3: Time
Next, aim for at least 60 minutes of activity each day. This amount can be done all at once or added together over several shorter, 10- to 15-minute blocks. In fact, breaking the hour up into multiple sessions is a great way for kids to ease into a new program or fit activities into a busy schedule.
Step 4: Type
Finally, parents can get kids involved in choosing one or more activities for their new plan. Options include team sports such as basketball or baseball and individual sports like running, cycling and swimming. Active hobbies and even walking to and from classes and practice counts, too. Weight-bearing activities that promote muscle strength, flexibility and bone health should also be added two to three times per week.
Download our free white paper: The Fundamentals of Boosting Participation