Fit Kids

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Dr. Kenneth Cooper is considered by many, the father of the international movement toward exercise. He offer's these tips to parents:Kid's Fitness

  • Establish parent-child fitness contracts
  • Become a great role model
    • Be involved in your own regular exercise program
    • Teach your child the skills you know
    • Emphasize fun and fitness, not winning and hard work
    • Limit family television
    • Eliminate smoking from the home
    • Limit your family’s consumption of fast food
  • Get involved!
  • Select a super substitute
  • Turn your child on (Ten Commandments)
    • Use a token economy system
    • Use video aids – but don’t be used by them
    • Put your child in charge
    • Get the whole family involved in fitness
    • Encourage peer reinforcement
    • Reward the process of fitness rather than the final product
    • Arrange for your child to lead or teach other children
    • Send your child to a sports camp
    • Expose your child to professional athletes or other show that are highly proficient in sports
    • Become the sponsor, coach, or helper for your child’s community sports team
  • Motivate your child to eat smart
    • Encourage physical activity
    • Develop positive nutritional thinking and behavior in your child
    • Take regular physical measurements
    • Be aware of your influence as a role model
    • Allow a regular splurge
    • Permit nutritious nibbling
    • Let your child participate in food preparation
  • Recognize special needs
    • Obesity, eating disorders, athletics, vegetarians
  • Be a responsible sports parent
    • Focus on what pleases your child in sports, not on what pleases you
    • Keep your child’s developmental age in mind
    • Emphasize good old-fashion sportsmanship
    • Monitor your child’s physical and emotional well-being during practices and competition

“Fitness programs that are “imposed from above” by parents or other adult authorities rarely carry over to times when the child is free to choose his own activities. But when the child has been deeply involved from the outset, he’s more likely to continue to pursue the program when the parent or other adult is absent.”

Dr. Kenneth Cooper

Cooper, KH (1999). Fit Kids, The complete shape-up program from birth through high school. Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee.


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