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To Get Kids Moving, Make Recess Fun

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When one in three children in the U.S. is obese, how do you begin to reverse the growing trend?

One way is, simply, to get them moving.

First Lady Michelle Obama is determined to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, and last year launched her Let's Move campaign to do it.

One of the key goals is to increase opportunities for physical activity for children -- an idea explored in a recent blog post on letsmove.org from contributor Robert Robertson, a Playworks program coordinator.

 

"The key to changing habits is to tap into what kids already love to do," says Robertson, who coordinates recess at a Philadelphia elementary school. "They love to play."

"Put a kid on a treadmill and you're likely to turn her or him off to exercise forever," he continues. "Help a kid lose himself or herself at recess in a game of four square, basketball, jump rope, hula hoop or freeze tag, and help a love of physical activity take root."

"So if we want to get kids moving, let's get the grown-ups out playing, and recess is the perfect place to start," Robertson says. "It's easier than you think. And it's a lot of fun."

So where to begin in New York City? Not only are there plenty of playgrounds available in which kids are free to play to their hearts' content, there are established sports and fitness programs set up around the city that welcome kids of all ages.

To find your nearest park or playground, click here. (NYC.gov)

To check out the nearest organized fitness class near you, click here (NYC.gov) or here (letsmove.gov).

What's your favorite recess activity to get kids moving? Share your suggestions below.

Related Topics exercise and fitness
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