Obviously, Atlanta is popping with programs for adults to get their fitness fix, but did you know there are tons of programs for kids too? Many organizations in our community provide a variety of fitness programs geared toward keeping kids moving and getting them excited about it. These programs give kids the unique opportunity to build confidence, learn about community, teamwork, sportsmanship, functional movement and proper nutrition.
Well ATL publisher Josh Guerrieri helps run the popular FitWit Kids program.
“Our goals for the program are, first and foremost, to have fun and associate fitness and sport with fun,” Guerrieri said. “Even in children as young as five years old, we can start talking about things like integrity, perseverance and self-belief. It’s so important to help children develop a sense of self-efficacy and to give them the support they need to make improvements and be proud of themselves.”
CrossFit Decatur runs a program with similar goals.
“Healthy living requires that our kids push, pull, run, throw, climb, lift and jump effectively and safely, regardless of whether they play sports,” CrossFit Kids & Teens program director Lisa Milko said. “We have kids who have gone from obese to fit, shy to confident, or on meds for behavior issues able to drop meds and manage their feelings with proper diet and exercise.”
Here are some other Atlanta-area options to give your kids the opportunity to move, make friends and have fun:
•Maybe your child isn’t into the rough-and-tumble type of activity and prefers something a little more graceful, but just as fun. Check out Dance 411’s Kids & Teens program. They also have a fall break schedule to keep your kids happy and active while school is out.
•The Atlanta Beltline hosts a regular schedule of different activities, some of which are geared toward kids, including learning how to ride a bike and a play day that incorporates all sorts of various sports.
•Check out any Atlanta-area Lifetime Fitness—they provide a variety of activities including school break and summer camps, sports specific training and martial arts.
•If you’ve got a little sports star running around your house, Atlanta Playball is a unique program that uses sports to help kids build emotional, social, cognitive and physical skills. They’ve been running the program for 25 years and host classes at several Smyrna/Vinings area schools.
•Could your child be the next Ronda Rousey? Let her flex her bob and weave skills with X3 Sports, which specializes in kickboxing and martial arts.
And if you don’t have the time or means to enroll your kids in a program, just get them moving! Have them help out around the house with fun activities like raking leaves; go for a bike ride; take the dog for a walk; or play a game of tag or hide and seek in the back yard. Make it a habit now and you’re setting your child up to be healthier, happier and more confident—and really, what parent doesn’t want that?