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  • Ninjas + Soft Skills

    Math, reading, science, and social studies — all hugely important and things we’re seeing on our childrens’, and ninjas’, homework, no doubt. But what about the other stuff — communication, relating with others, and self-discipline. You know, the soft stuff. How important is it that our kids be introduced to and surrounded by challenges that flex those muscles? Here at NinjaZone, there are fundamental skills we’re instilling and developing in your kids far beyond physical toughness. Here are just a few of them: Social Skills — We encourage all ninjas to root each other on! Through regular interaction with their peers, your ninja is learning how to relate to people their own age, as well as how to greet and interact with their coaches and people outside of their immediate family, peers, and adults. Manners — We believe the best ninjas have the kindest manners. It’s something we encourage and recognize each time a young person flexes that kind of muscle, whether with their peer or coach. Communication — Through regular interaction with their coaches, your ninja is learning how to get their point across clearly and concisely. We’re helping curb or eliminate things like mumbling, hands in or over the mouth, slouched posture, and averted eyes. Listening — A large part of the NinjaZone curriculum requires listening. That’s time without electronics or other distractions, where your ninja is tuned in and their listening caps are on. Empathy — When your ninja sees another facing a challenge, they’re building their empathy. Whether it's your child or another that skill may not come so easily to, our kids are quick to give each other a boost, offer words of encouragement, and boost each other to the point of conquering! Here are more ways you can work on this important life skill at home! Self Control — Isn’t this a skill we could all actively work on improving? When involved in NinjaZone, your kids are actively monitoring and utilizing self-control, whether it be through limiting their level of distraction, using their body and mind to achieve the task at hand, or otherwise. Self-Esteem/Self-Confidence — No one is born with esteem coming out of their ears, it’s developed over time. Our ninjas learn to take pride in their accomplishments and realize their level of worth and ability. Need more help on building self-confidence? Here are 12 more ways! Want to help us develop these skills even more? If you’re a parent, ask your ninja or their coach how they’re doing in these areas. Recognize and verbalize when you’re seeing them positively empathize with others or demonstrate great listening skills. Offer praise when they seem proud about an accomplishment or when you know they’ve worked hard and practiced at something. Having happy, healthy, well-rounded kids is in everyone’s best interest and something we stand behind you on achieving.

  • CEO Named Indiana Small Business Person of the Year

    The U.S. Small Business Administration has selected Indianapolis-area leader, Casey Wright, as the 2019 Small Business Person of the Year for Indiana. Casey Wright is the CEO of Wright's Gymnastics Corporation, which runs and operates five area Wright’s Gymnastics facilities, one NinjaZone Academy location, Ninja Sports International, and NinjaZone, LLC (the 300+ gym international youth athletic licensing program). Wright is a longtime gymnastics gym owner and 2018 Indianapolis Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree who established the NinjaZone licensing program in 2015. As the excitement for “Ninja Sport” spread quickly, the NinjaZone licensing program grew to over 300 locations in 43 states, in 8 countries, on 4 continents. Most recently, the company hosted the first-ever Indiana State Ninja Games with 15 area NinjaZone gyms invited. The Ninja Games is the competitive arm of this new sport, hosted in NinjaZone licensed facilities, adding another level of excitement to the already fast-paced and skill-rich curriculum that gyms are used to executing, within their weekly NinjaZone classes. As reported by Inside Indiana Business, Wright will be joining the state winners from around the country in Washington D.C. this May to be recognized. “Entrepreneurs are the innovators who take risks on ideas, invest in their communities, and create jobs,” stated U.S. Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon in a news release, “Their skills and creativity not only support their own families, but they also make our neighborhoods and cities vibrant places to live and work, fueling our overall economic strength.”

  • 7 of the Best Experience Gifts

    Raise your hand if your kid needs more toys. No? Oh come on, how about a few dozen more plastic things cluttering up your house and then getting forgotten in a closet a few weeks later? Don’t call us a Scrooge yet – we’re not anti-gift, we’re just pro-experiences as gifts, instead. Experience gifts can check the box in several different ways. An experience can be used now or later, or even throughout the year (if it’s a membership, for example). Experience-based gifts open the door to invite friends and family along with you, too, bringing everyone together for fun. So, this holiday season, think outside the box and consider giving an experience instead of a thing. Here’s our list of the seven best experience gifts to consider for Hanukkah, Christmas, or other winter gift-giving celebrations. Explore Your Favorite Museums Do you have a favorite spot in your city or a nearby city that offers a membership? Consider adding it to your list and then making it a priority to make it there more often in the coming year. Memberships are more cost-effective than buying individual entrance passes, particularly for larger families, and can make the dreary days of winter more tolerable! Look for museums that participate in national reciprocal membership programs for an even greater bang for your buck. Too pricey to add to your list? Add day passes or punch cards to your list instead. Opt Outside Getting outside into nature more often is a great way to de-stress and connect with the planet we live on. Many state parks are home to great hiking trails, playgrounds, and nature centers just waiting to be explored. Park entrance fees vary but are often between $7-15 per visit, and with a state park pass, you have an excuse to see them all. Try Something New Are your kids getting tired of swim lessons and soccer practices? Give them an experience that is different from traditional sports – NinjaZone. NinjaZone classes combine gymnastics, martial arts, parkour, and obstacle training to instill confidence in children ages 18 months - 11 years old. Many NinjaZone locations offer trial classes and gift certificates for classes, and with over 300 locations, you’re sure to have one near you. Get Creative Do you have a local art studio or paint your own pottery location in the area? What about a tie-dye shop or cooking school that you’ve been meaning to check out? Encourage your child to get creative and make something they normally wouldn’t with a gift card to a crafty spot. The Tickets You Wanted to Buy Anyway Admit it – you saw that touring Broadway show was coming to your area next year and was contemplating tickets anyway…say yes, and give them as a gift! Check out your go-to ticketing site to get an idea of what’s coming to your area in the coming months or poke around on Facebook to see which events your friends are responding to. Plays, musicals, Disney on Ice, Monster Truck Jam, and local high school and college productions are all possibilities! Take Me Out to the Ball Game This goes along with the previous category, but sporting events are fun opportunities to try something new and experience a big crowd cheering for the home team. Tickets to professional sporting events can be expensive, so unless you have a child who is a big fan of a specific team, look around for tickets to smaller, more affordable events instead. Minor league baseball and soccer, or college football or basketball games can be just as fun as professional team games at a fraction of the cost. Take It On the Road When was the last time you took a family vacation? Travel as a family builds lasting memories for years to come…and doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Check out State Park Inns, VRBO, Airbnb, and Groupon for deals. Consider even just a weekend trip to a hotel in your closest major city (or downtown in your current one!) Children don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to make a vacation fun. A hotel with a pool, vending machine, and a late bedtime can make for a great family vacation!

  • My Kid Doesn't Like Sports...

    The cultural expectation for children, especially boys, to participate in physical activity through sports can be challenging for some. From school activities to time spent with family, organized sports are the chief contributors to physical activity. These expectations can be tough to overcome, as physical activity seems to be linked more and more to sports. While there are a great many sports out there that can meet a wide variety of tastes and interests, sports simply aren’t for everyone. Competition, sports cultures, and strict rules can be off-putting and be discouraging from progressing in a sport. However, that doesn’t mean that you, your children, and your family can’t stay active. Your kid doesn't like traditional sports? No problem! Every child should have the opportunity to develop their own physical fitness, but there isn’t one single path that works best for everyone. Similarly, your family can stay active without having to do an activity that not everyone will be enthused about. So how can you keep a love of activity alive without going in on traditional sports? Hiking It’s a way to take in nature, de-stress and spend quality time with friends and family, or alone. There’s no set pace, no set time or distance limits, and the level of activity can be exactly what you make it. Hiking is one of the easiest activities to participate in that builds fitness without the constraint of sports. Next weekend, try scoping out parks and hiking trails near your house and getting your family involved in a hike. You and your children might discover a new passion, and you’ll certainly work up a sweat. Biking Biking does carry an initial investment cost, but since it serves as an alternate mode of transportation as well as a great way to get and stay in shape, bikes could well be worth it if you don’t already own them. When observing the proper safety practices, biking gives your children a safe way to get around while burning calories and having fun. If their friends nearby also have bikes, then it’s all the easier to get your child out and about while building muscle and burning calories. Climbing Climbing may not be for everyone, but if there’s a climbing gym nearby it’s worth it to try it out and see if it’s right for you. Climbing walls come with a complete array of safety equipment, padded floors, a variety of climbing walls varying by difficulty, and staff to ensure that everyone has a safe, fun experience. Climbing can be one of the most physically demanding activities you can do, giving a full-body workout, but is also only as intensive as you want it to be. If your children take to it, you might find they have so much fun they don’t notice how much exercise they’re actually doing! Play on Play Equipment For some, the structure of sports can be off-putting if they’re more comfortable with an open environment where they can run, climb and jump how they please. If you’re nearby a local playground, visiting the play equipment there and setting your children loose can be a great way to get exercise. Children can meet friends, play games, and exercise for hours in a more open environment, providing a great way to keep exercise fun. Bonus points if you walk to the playground. Participate in Ninja Classes For parents looking for a structured environment to allow their children to be physically active without participating in the traditional structure of organized sports, Ninja Classes could be the perfect answer. The NinjaZone program combines elements of coordination from gymnastics, strength, and agility from obstacle training and the creativity from freestyle movement, all in a program where progression is determined at the pace of progress that the child makes. We’ve designed the program to be fun, with Ninjas grouped by age and supervised to ensure that they have fun and stay safe. Ninja Classes aren’t a sport in a traditional sense, but they provide a great opportunity for kids to have fun and develop confidence in addition to fitness. If you’re interested in signing your child up for the NinjaZone program and getting in shape without sports, contract a certified gym near you today!

  • Moving Kids Makes Smarter Kids

    How Physical Activities Can Enhance your Child’s Academic Performance We know that every parent wants the best for their child across all aspects of their life. Making strong social connections, forming lifelong bonds with their family, developing hobbies, and advancing their education all take top priority. However, sometimes missing from that list is a proper emphasis on a good amount of physical activity. Staying physically active might not seem like an important element when viewed on its own, but it’s a vital part of a well-rounded childhood and a smooth transition into adulthood. Physical activity provides more than passive benefits to your child’s well-being, however. With the proper amount of physical activity, your child can boost their performance in the classroom as well. Sadly, many physical education programs in schools across the country are being cut or reduced to meet budgetary constraints. Physical activity’s link to academic performance is still a topic of emerging research, but several factors of physical activity have been widely linked to better overall results in the classroom. So, how do these activities contribute to better academics and why should your child get involved? Improved Concentration Any type of physical activity requires sustained concentration and focus, a skill set that can be trained and improved just like physical characteristics including strength, speed, and agility. In our case, at NinjaZone we place an emphasis on discipline and focus in each class for our ninjas. Regardless of the type of activity, however, the skill of concentration that children acquire and hone can be put to use in a classroom setting. Setting the task at hand with an emphasis on searching for the best solution and the focus to see it through is a vital element in any classroom environment. Additionally, physical activity provides an outlet for children to work out their excess energy and refocus on the world around them afterward. If you’ve ever tried to get a child with too much energy to focus, you know how challenging can be. With a proper way to manage those bursts of energy, any child will be better equipped to concentrate better on their academics. Higher Levels of Chemicals in the Brain That Affect Mood Exercise has been proven beyond a doubt to have a positive impact on mood and the brain, releasing chemicals called endorphins that have a powerful impact on cognitive function and overall mood. Endorphins are known to create feelings of euphoria, reduce pain, promote feelings of well-being, relieve stress, and make falling asleep easier. With all of the benefits of endorphins, it’s no wonder that regular physical activity can have a dramatic positive impact on overall mood. Children with a greater sense of well-being don’t have to struggle as much with negative emotions, allowing them to focus with a clearer view of the topics in front of them. Children being in a better mood means that they are easier to teach, and more likely to participate in activities that will enhance their understanding of the material. Higher Self-Esteem General mood boosts, improved mood and concentration, new skills, and the social bonds formed during communal physical activities all combine to help boost the self-esteem of young children. Boosting confidence and self-esteem is an important part of NinjaZone’s program, as allowing children to advance at their own pace and take control over their own development imparts a great sense of confidence and self-esteem. In the classroom, this higher self-esteem can translate to less intimidation by new material and an outlook more likely to be ready and willing to take on and overcome new challenges. This can-do attitude can also readily translate to testing, as a more self-assured outlook can help offset the effects of test anxiety in young children. If they believe in themselves, they’re more likely to succeed. As you can see, physical activity is an irreplaceable part of a well-rounded childhood full of education and development. By providing students with new skills, as well as boosting their confidence and self-esteem through a curriculum that prioritizes individual progress, NinjaZone is proud to play a part in a process that can do a world of good for children. Finding the right physical activity for your child can be a challenge, but when they have the right fit, they’ll be better equipped for a better academic future.

  • Does Your Kid Have the Summer Crazies?

    How children benefit when they focus their energy into achievement and improvement Whether your child goes to year-round school or has a traditional schedule with 8 weeks off, summer is the time for kids to be kids. If they’re out of school, children are running around and it seems like they’re bouncing off the walls. There are ways to channel that energy into productivity, while still allowing kids the fun that makes summertime memorable. Ultimately, what do we want our children to get out of their summers? Fun and exercise come to mind. What about those combined with a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and structure? At NinjaZone, we run classes for children of all ages to learn discipline and focus their energy all while having fun! Children participate at their own pace – within a proven structure – and after a few classes, the summer turns into a showcase for marked improvement that your child will love. Here are some benefits of the programs that will make your child’s summer worthwhile for all the right reasons: Harnessed Energy If you notice your child’s energy seems endless – the product of a restless summer – our structured yet physically engaging programs will make the best use of that energy. Increased Confidence Activity, learning, and accomplishment all lead to increases in confidence. By staying active and learning new skills, your child’s confidence will soar. By learning at his or her own pace, you will see newfound resiliency and determination that will cross over into other parts of your child’s life. Improved Athletic Skills Ninjas don’t have to be athletic superstars to participate. In fact, we thrive with kids of all energy and ability levels. Improved balance, coordination, cardiovascular health, and the strengthening of muscles and bones are all benefits found after spending time in our program. Discipline By no means are Ninja Zone classes like going into the military, but your child will find a certain level of discipline while also enjoying the program. For instance, if your youngster needs to work on listening, taking turns, or sticking to new challenges, joining us may be the ticket to improvement within those areas. Don’t let summer pass by with video games and ice cream. OK just kidding, some ice cream is good! But you can help your child have fun and be productive this summer at NinjaZone. Teach your child what more than 80,000 kids have found at our 250+ locations. You can have fun, burn energy, be healthy and learn all at the same time. Find a Ninja Zone location near you and make the most of your summer!

  • Activities to Strengthen Mind & Body in Kids

    Physical activities for children build learning, self-esteem, and a sense of self-worth Scholarly research in recent years found physical activity in children is associated with increased self-concept and self-worth. Putting children in activities to improve their health also improved their minds and how they view themselves in the world. As parents, isn’t that what we all want? The part many parents miss is how to present these physical activities. Should we place our 5-year-old in competitive settings with 8-year-olds to build “toughness?” Should be spent tens of thousands of dollars traveling the country so we can say our child plays “travel ball?” Breaking the bank and arguing with coaches in the name of competition is all too common. What parents should strive for is a healthy, fun way for children to exercise, learn new skills and develop as a person both physically and mentally. This developmental focus is what NinjaZone offers children from the time they can walk until age 11. Improved Sense of Self Self-esteem is defined as a person’s subjective evaluation of self. Simply, it’s what we think of ourselves. It’s important to build this within children because what they think about themselves and their potential will have a lasting effect. Successful interactions with peers and adults and healthy physical activity can help build self-esteem in children. Think about all the fun you had playing as a child. What you don’t always remember are the skills and successes from those simple times and what they mean for you today. New Skills, New Confidence When your child masters a new activity, skill or completes a project, they develop confidence and self-esteem. Pride in accomplishment and overcoming obstacles is something we carry all our lives. Building Strong Bones and Muscles A healthy lifestyle can also help your child’s self-assessment. By building stronger bones and muscles and improving motor skills and coordination, your child will see greater potential than ever before. Escape the pressure and overwhelming nature of pushing your child into sports they don’t enjoy. And if they do love playing sports, they can find more of what will help them succeed at NinjaZone. NinjaZone classes help children build their minds, as well as their bodies. At NinjaZone, your child finds the benefits of a physically active lifestyle while also having fun and becoming more disciplined, focused at the same time. Find a location near you today and watch your child build his or her mind and body in a healthy way!

  • Healthy Activity in a Screen-Obsessed World

    2020 is a challenging time for raising healthy children. The ongoing epidemic of obesity in America makes physical activity even more important. However, increasing dependence on television, computer, and tablets make consistent exercise even more difficult. Those challenges combined with decreasing self-esteem have seemingly endless hurdles to children’s health. So what’s a parent to do? Here are some of the biggest challenges to raising healthy children in the modern world and how to combat them. Processed Junk Food It seems simple, but healthy eating is a challenge to teach. It’s a routine you need to hone in on early by stressing the importance of fruits and vegetables and making them a major component of mealtime. However, colorful and loud advertising for processed junk food will jockey for your child’s attention and your hard-earned dollars. When your child is having a meltdown in the grocery store over prepackaged snacks it can be hard to stay strong. But building in healthier snacks (like these) can help keep your kids satisfied and healthy. Creating healthy habits early such as building a family meal plan activity together and modeling healthy choices in your own food selections will aid in raising kids with a passion for healthy foods. Sedentary Lifestyles As a society, we are obsessed with screens. Cell phones, television, video games, and social media all demand our attention. A large number of professionals spend 8 hours a day sitting at their desks. All this time spent sitting has been shown to be a huge hazard to health and it’s reaching outside the office into our homes as well. Youth sport can be a great way to combat this sedentary surge and build healthy activity and lifestyles for our children. Whether that means a basketball league or a dance class, building athletic habits will benefit your child’s future. Ninja sports can be a great alternative for children less interested in traditional sports. They still get your kids moving and develop the athleticism and mindset that are so important for future health and success. Emotional Health and Social Media Numerous studies have shown that Facebook can be harmful to your self-esteem – that effect can be magnified in youngsters due to cyberbullying, the confusion of growing up, and fundamental misunderstandings of what social media is. If your kids are on any social media site, it is essential you help teach them that people do not share a true representation of what their life is like. Social media is ultimately performative, and many young people take those performances at face value. You can help your children by talking with them about these issues and helping them maintain a realistic expectation of reality. You can also help show them how arts, physical activity, or completing challenging tasks can help build self-esteem. The unique challenges of Ninja sports make them a great option for building confidence within your children. Want to see the impacts of Ninja sports firsthand? Find your nearest NinjaZone gym and check us out.

  • Tips for Energetic Children

    Focusing the energy of an energetic child can seem like a full-time job. They won’t sit still. Always fidgeting. Constant movement and sometimes a lack of focus. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be focused on lessons that are both effective and fun. Tips for Energetic Children - 1. Participate In Sports Physical activity is essential for a child. In fact, it’s recommended that children receive 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Playing organized sports – in a team or individual setting – is a fun way to get that physical activity while building social skills. Individual sports like martial arts, tennis, swimming, and running can harness energy, as can team sports such as basketball, football, and soccer. 2. Take Dancing, Acting, or Singing Lessons If your child is interested, learning an instrument or becoming active in drama can be excellent activities. They serve as an energy outlet (outside of a sport) while requiring focus, coordination, and study. 3. Have Some Social Time Playing games with both family and friends can instill some skills such as patience, focus, strategy, and taking turns. Board games and non-competitive, cooperative games work well. 4. Set Up Obstacle Courses Setting up an obstacle course around the house or yard can burn some energy while also fostering creativity. Use the items in your house to create the course. Building an obstacle course and then timing your children as they race through it can be fun for hours! 5. Wrestling Whether it's jumping on mom or dad or playfully wrestling whether it’s appropriate or not, kids like a little roughhousing, and there are plenty of benefits as well. If available, there are also many benefits to organized wrestling. Benefits of Exercise In Children Even if it’s not a matter of focusing excess energy in your child, it’s clearly beneficial to encourage your child to participate in physical activity. Physical activity can increase cognitive development Physical fitness leads to lower rates of obesity Development of a broad array of sensory skills Regular exercise promotes positive self-image and emotional response Active children become active and healthy adults All of this may seem like a lot, but it isn’t. Luckily, there’s a place where you can have your child focus excess energy while sharpening discipline and skill. There’s also the benefit of getting out of the house and exercising and socializing with other kids. Sources: Psych Central:

  • Instilling Confidence In Your Child

    For all people, confidence comes in many forms. Internally, there are physical and emotional confidence and self-confidence. On the outside, it could be the belief in having confidence in others. Having a high self-esteem can be the ticket to a lifetime of physical and social health and happiness for your child. At all ages, having confidence in yourself – and also others – will lead to positive outcomes in all areas of life. Here are a few tips to instill confidence in your child: 1. Project Positivity The images you reflect to your child are important. Are they positive or negative? Not only do positive reflections allow children to think positively about themselves, but they also set up the times when you need to instill discipline. If your reflection is less positive than usual, they’ll understand something is unusual and change their behavior. 2. Positive Yet Realistic It’s important to project positive images to instill confidence in your child, yet you need to be authentic and realistic. Children are smart enough to see through fake cheerfulness. They understand their parents are human and some days are better than others. 3. Be Aware Of Your Own Self-Confidence Confident parents tend to produce confident children. And certain traits are passed on from generation to generation through upbringing. Think about the things your parents did to both strengthen and weaken your self-confidence. By understanding your own confidence journey as a child, you’ll be more aware of what you’re passing on. 4. Instilling Confidence Through Play Playing with your child reinforces the idea that they are valuable and they are worthy of your time. Their self-worth strengthens if they see mom and dad enjoy and embrace their interests. Encouraging your child to participate in sports, dance, music or and other activity they choose – in addition to free playtime – will help them develop a variety of skills and watch their self-confidence grow. 5. Linking Physical Activity And Confidence Positive early sporting experiences are important to self-confidence development and understanding of a healthy lifestyle. The ability to learn new things in a social setting while getting exercise helps children physically, mentally and emotionally. Whether it’s setting a personal best or achieving something positive in a team setting, some structured physical activity coupled with playtime will lead to a more confident child. But it’s important to remember to keep the unstructured fun or playtime in the mix as well. Over-programming your child can have an adverse effect. Sources: - Loop Of Confidence: - Psychology Today: - Solve A Problem:

  • Keeping Your Kids Active

    Keeping kids active throughout the year can be tough. Weather permitting, illness, busy schedules, etc. but it's important to remember to keep moving as a priority for our littles! NinjaZone is dedicated to building active physical skills, confidence, and social connection among our Ninjas, and we’ve seen firsthand the massive difference that regular physical activity can make in a child’s life. So, how can parents make sure that their kids stay running around? With a few simple approaches, you can help make sure your kids stay active all year round! Less Screen Time With less structure and more free time, it can be easy for children to spend more time than they should with screens of all types. Unfortunately, while these screens provide an easy way to spend time, they have been linked to attention problems, obesity, and trouble sleeping at night. While allowing your child to spend time watching their favorite movies or shows is fine in moderation, planning screen-related activities ahead of time and substituting outdoor activities can both reduce any negative effects of excessive screen use and increase total time spent outdoors. More Play Dates and Meetups Physical activity improves health and physical fitness, but for kids, physical activity can also be a great opportunity to ensure that they make friendships and connections, and continue to develop socially. Playdates structured around activities like biking or going to the park ensure that time spent with friends is also time spent staying active. For older children, encouraging them to stay in contact with their friends and offering assistance like giving rides to physically-oriented activities can have a similar effect. Make Activity Time Family Time Even the most active of children can have difficulty thinking of new activities to keep them active. Finding ideas for physical activities as a family and setting the agenda takes the pressure off and provides structure for kids looking for something fun to do. Going for a walk or family bike ride, as well as participating in sports like basketball or catch together, are great ways to have fun and connect as a family while making sure that your kids get the physical activity they need. This method is also good for parents looking to become a bit more active, too! Make Sure it Stays Fun Finding the right activity for your child to participate in might take some time; different children have different personalities and will prefer different physical activities. For some, running and swimming might be perfect. For others, biking and baseball. NinjaZone is dedicated to making exercise fun, providing an environment where children want to stay active because of the experience they have and the memories that they make. Making sure that they enjoy the activity that they do is worth the investment in trying out multiple options, as they will want to continue exercising. We love seeing kids staying active and having a good time, and we hope that with a few simple changes, you’ll be able to find the right balance for your family.

  • Nutrition & Exercise – Keys to Healthy Children

    Childhood obesity has now become the top concern among parents in America. About 1 of every 3 children is said to be obese, a rate that tripled since the early 1970s. What can you do to make sure you’re raising healthy children? It begins at home with a healthy diet and a commitment to an active lifestyle. Here are some tips to keep your child healthy and where you can go for activities that are not only fun but provide much-needed exercise. Commitment To Nutrition A lifetime of healthy eating begins at a very young age. Hectic schedules make it harder than ever to focus on proper nutrition – it’s easy to just zip through the fast food drive-thru. But if you follow these tips, you’ll find a healthy diet for you and your child is possible. 1. Eat as a family: Eating as a family leads to healthier meals and children who eat with their families are less likely to snack on junk food. 2. Explore a variety of foods: It’s common sense to encourage a balanced diet including protein, fruits, grains, and vegetables. What isn’t often thought about is how offering a variety of foods can encourage healthy eating. 3. Lead by example: This is no time for the old “Do as I say, not as I do” line. You can be a role model to your children by displaying healthy eating habits yourself. 4. Let the kids choose: Giving children the hard sell on broccoli will likely be unproductive. Most young children are picky eaters and that’s OK. Offering a variety of healthy foods and letting your children gravitate to what they like will lead to good habits in the long run. 5. Don’t make it a chore: Nutrition can be fun. By allowing your children to be involved in food, they can connect with you and also feel ownership. Some ways to involve kids in nutrition include: planting a garden or picking fruit, arranging fruits and vegetables in interesting ways, or allow them to help in the kitchen. Once you have your family eating a healthy diet, everyone will feel good and be ready to exercise. After all, nobody feels like exercising after eating unhealthy snacks. Physical Activity According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The CDC has recommendations for the types of exercise needed to raise a healthy child: Aerobic Exercise: It’s suggested that the majority of the 60 minutes of exercise be moderate or vigorous aerobic activity to build endurance and respiratory health. Moderate aerobic exercises include: riding a bike, rollerblading or walking, and hiking. Vigorous aerobics involve running, martial arts, cheerleading, or jumping rope. Build Bone Strength: Children should spend a portion of each day’s 60 minutes doing bone-strengthening exercises. These include: hopping and jumping, running and sports like basketball, volleyball and gymnastics. Increase Muscular Strength: It’s not recommended for young children to lift weights. Doing push-ups and sit-ups will do the trick, as will gymnastics and playing on playground equipment. As your child gets older, weight training can be introduced after proper instruction. This doesn’t mean you need a personal trainer and a heavily-regimented exercise program for your child. It’s important to encourage physical activities that are fun and age-appropriate. That way, getting exercise won’t seem like a chore. One way for a healthy child to have fun with peers while getting valuable exercise is to discover NinjaZone. With more than 250 licensed clubs worldwide, NinjaZone is providing children with a mix of obstacle training, gymnastics, martial arts and freestyle movement. Spending 60 minutes in your local NinjaZone club will provide your child with the aerobic and strength-building activity needed to be healthy, confident, and creative. NinjaZone recently launched a Baby Ninja program which is a Parent & Me class for walkers to age 3. For children ages 3-5, we have a Lil’ Ninja program that introduces by gymnastics, martial arts and obstacle training concepts in a way that encourages listening, confidence and exploration. For children ages 5-11, our Ninja Training program of flips, rolls, kicks and jumps provides necessary bone- and muscle-strengthening exercises. The Ninja Sport is growing. Find out what 80,000 healthy children are finding out, physical fitness doesn’t have to be a chore. By eating right and having a little fun with friends, your child can build healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Sources:


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