Posts tagged kids

Allowing Kids to be Sedentary is Asking for Trouble


Neurological Connections Created During Exercise

As a CrossFit Kids Coach – I am always wanting to learn more about neuroscience related to exercise. It’s so influential in how a child learns and grows that not encouraging kids to exercise is just asking for trouble.

Here’s yet another study:

Exercise is a powerful tool for enhancing mental performance and cognitive health.

Exercise is a powerful tool for enhancing mental performance and cognitive health.Whether you want to improve your memory[1][2], enhance your problem solving abilities[3], reduce your risk of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s[4][5][6][7], or bend metal and shoot lasers with your mind – exercise has an important role to play in all but two of those activities. In particular, richer exercise regimens – regimens consisting of aerobic and resistance training methods[8][1], produce the greatest overall improvements in cognitive performance. Note, however, working out for sixteen hours each day won’t turn you into the next Stephen Hawking. There are diminishing returns[9], and the favorable cerebral environment promoted by exercise is only as good as the active learning that accompanies it.


Kids and Health: The Decline of Good Nutrition and Fitness Programs in Schools


Kids: Get them Moving & Eating Healthier. They will Learn More. Guaranteed!

Physical Activity

During my training as a CrossFit Kids coach, we really dived into how much research is available regarding how exercise and physical fitness helps kids learn. Getting kids to move throughout their day is vital to their learning. So when I hear about schools cutting or lessening recess and gym time in schools it makes no sense at all.  it’s PROVEN that having kids move will help them learn, which is why they are at school in the first place. We want them to do better, learn what they are supposed learn, develop the important skills to help them succeed in life.  We know that the two biggest health threats to our kids today are Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity – and we know that both can be lessened and managed with proper diet and exercise –but yet we don’t put an emphasis on either of these in our schools. It’s the #thingsthatmakeyousayhmmm…. 

Here are some articles that go into some of the harm that comes out of cutting recess and gym time:

Nutrition standards

They are starting to make changes in the lunch offerings at the schools — but there is no concerted national effort to really make changes. When I do a Google search, I see articles about specific schools pushing through changes but nothing that sweeps the nation.  From time to time, I meet my kids for lunch at their cafeteria and man –what they call a salad – iceberg lettuce, a few shreds of lettuce and maybe, a non-appetizing tomato. That’s a salad!??  In the tinest bowl and of course rich, high fat, high caloric dressings available in abundance.  

Both my kids bring their lunch — Nate is gluten free so I really don’t have a choice and HB prefers what I offer. Its not strict Paleo but it’s definitely healthier than what they can get there.

Reading this article about food workers attending the School Nutrition Association conference in Denver this summer — they offer some good tips and advice. 

A Colorado State University professor studied the dining habits of kids in Loveland, with an eye toward measuring ways to get them to choose healthier foods. Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, who photographed “before” and “after” pictures of kids’ lunch trays, found that kids eat more fruits and vegetables if they have lunch after recess, instead of before recess. She found that corn consumption went up when generic “corn” labels were replaced with colorful cards describing the vegetable as “mellow yellow corn.”

“Don’t put veggies in opaque containers or give them boring labels like ‘corn,’” Cunningham-Sabo told the lunch workers, showing diagrams of how to lay out a service line to encourage trips to the salad bar.

Another trick — just like supermarkets place impulse buys like candy and chewing gum by the checkout, lunch lines should place easy-to-grab fruits and veggies by their own cash registers. Her study saw cafeterias double their sales of fresh fruit when they placed it colorful bowls in a convenient place.

Think about the local school cafeterias – they certainly don’t spend a lot of time on presentation or marketing. Kids love marketing –hence it’s a multi-billion dollar industry and our kids want that sugary cereal or latest toy that breaks weeks after you buy it.  If you make an effort, it shows.  Those cafeteria’s don’t scream Fun to me! 

Whenever we go to a potluck or party, without fail –the stuff that is eaten & finished first is the homemade food.  People appreciate that it was made and not store bought.  A little effort goes a long way and our kids’ nutrition and health is more than worth the effort. 

Here are some related articles to get you thinking about ways to approach this with your own kids:


My workout this AM was about Sumo Deadlift High Pulls! Some people love em, some don’t. I’m in the middle — when I have my form great, they are great! I had a lot of issues with catching my breath this morning. This humid air is killing my lungs!


  • 800m jog
  • DROM
  • Drills
  • Shuttle Run
  • 10 Pass Thrus x2
  • 10 Good Mornings x2



  • SDHP (65#)
  • KTE

5:54 – I had to stop and breathe more than I would have liked!


Explaining Cancer to Kids


I get asked a lot about how my two kiddos handled Scott being sick and how we, as their parents handled it. It’s not an easy thing and showing weakness and sadness to your kids at any time is hard but when you are dealing with something as HUGE as this –man I can’t even describe how hard it is/was.  But Scott and I live a truthful life, and kids know what’s going on. So without causing fear or instability, we were honest about what was going on. But, honest in a young kid way.

Nate & HannahAnd for us, the most important thing was to address their fears, but make sure they knew that their lives were not going to unstable. They would still go to school and their friends’ birthday parties. Just that someone else may be there to pick them up. And sometimes Dad won’t feel good. Like when they have a cold or fever and they want to just stay in bed and rest. So when he’s resting –that means you have to be respectful of that and not barge in. But we also said, like with any illness –some people get better and some don’t. Daddy WILL get better –so we just have to be patient, helpful and be his cheerleader. And of course gave them the room to talk about it as much as they want, ask questions as much as they want, see what was going on. We also told them sometimes they may see Mom or Dad sad and/or crying –it’s ok. This is tough to see someone you love in pain and it makes us sad.

Here are some more suggestions — but every case is different. You know your kids, so you have to adjust what and how you say anything based on them.

10 Tips for Talking to Kids About Cancer

Children who are old enough to speak need to be told about a cancer diagnosis. Begin by identifying your illness by name without confusing euphemisms. Discuss how it will be treated and what will happen to you during treatment (losing your hair, feeling tired and so on). Tell them who will be taking them to soccer practice, cooking their meals and how their day-to-day lives may change.

CrossFit Kids is the Way!


Coached a great group of athletes this AM as I covered for Coach Nick at 6A.  Knowing you are going to coach a fun group of people helps alot in getting your butt up and out the door.  I also coached last night — totally different feel with the evening people but still just as fun!

Here’s a great article about CrossFit Kids in the Washington Post. Getting the word out about how great this program is for kids is just about as good as ice cream! Our classes are getting fuller with kids — learning fun ways to get fit and setting up the right foundation for health and fitness in their adult lives. Love It!

CrossFit Kids gets children to exercise

Thousands of children around the globe are now part of the CrossFit Kids program, which was established in 2004, almost by accident. “I couldn’t find any adults to do it,” says Jeff Martin. So he and his wife, Mikki, began teaching children in Ramona, Calif., and soon CrossFit founder Greg Glassman asked them to formally create CrossFit Kids.


Girl Scouts vs. Health and Fitness


Today is a much needed rest day for me — I’m sore! Not over crazy sore but definitely a good day to rest. What’s crazy is that I miss the gang though — that’s part of the draw about CrossFit. You want to go workout because you miss your pals if you don’t!

So last night, I coached an adult class and I loved it. At the same time, I was able to see my own two kids working out in their CrossFit Kids classes. I am so proud of both my kids and how they are embracing getting fit.  One of my goals for myself for them as they grow up is to really stress the importance of fitness and health. I want to make sure they have a healthy foundation and that it’s a normal thing for them to get exercise in daily in their lives and think about overall health and fitness.

This past weekend, I went to CrossFit for Hope in DC. At the same time 250,000 Girl Scouts hit the National Mall to celebrate the 100 anniversary of Girl Scouts. I love this organization. I have fond memories of being a brownie and my daughter is having a great time learning and experiencing some wonderful things. So what I am about to talk about is not an indictment against the organization as a whole — they do great things and anything that empowers girls to give back and learn about empowerment is all right in my book.

However – one thing that really bothered me this weekend was seeing many of the troop leaders we saw were very overweight. Here they are mentoring young girls, teaching lessons that empower them with little or no regard for 1. their own health and 2. the example they are setting for the girls in their troop. Yeah yeah, I know they are busy and don’t have time to workout. If you have read this blog for a while or know me — you know i call B.S. on that. If you are willing to make it a priority, you can and do have time!!!

I went and did a little research on how fitness and nutrition are incorporated into the Girl Scouts organization. The Girl Scouts of Central and South Jersey have a page about it, but it definitely is not stressed in any of their materials and they leave it up to their troop leaders and whether they want to stress it or not. I also found some info at the Fitness Guru about how they recently entered into a partnership with “the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) to provide a turnkey customization of three Journey books (the national Girl Scout leadership curriculum) that will offer a focus on health and wellness. This will enable Daisies, Brownies and Juniors to learn how to be leaders who take care of themselves and inspire others to do the same.”

So that’s great but without the backing of the entire organization to make it a priority this means very little. How about investing in specific programs for the troop leaders themselves so that they will truly understand and embrace the importance of health and fitness. This will no doubt set the stage for their daughters and other girls to begin walking the walk and want to learn more about it.

Also about those cookies — I get that they bring in a ton of money for this non-profit organization. We all appreciate the cookies and it’s about personal responsibility and if you don’t want to buy them, don’t. But –they can certainly make healthier options across the board. “No one will buy them” then is the argument — Well, they can’t be crappy and slapped with a healthy label to solve the problem. People will buy great tasting cookies!

And if the Girl Scouts as an organization is truly behind empowering girls and helping them succeed in LIFE, they owe them nothing less than going all in and really backing up their words about overall health and fitness goals. Science and Research is all over the place about how obesity and type 2 Diabetes are huge threats to our kids and it’s not looking like that will be changing soon — so why not do what is truly in the best interest of those you are set up to help?

1. Set up programs that not only focus on the young girls but on the troop leaders as well. This will only help the younger generation they are mentoring and leading.

2. Look into healthier, great tasting cookie options to offer alongside the standards.

3. Rock the Mall — you could have invited some fitness groups to come and get those kids moving as opposed to just sitting on the mall. With music, comes dancing and fitness routines!!

4. Make one of the CORE programs (required) each year – fitness related. Service leadership is really important of course and most troops do a larger effort each year around that. They should be required to do one with their troop leader that is all about fitness and health and gets them moving and learning about how to be healthy and fit! Biggest Loser type program for all troops?

These are just some of the ideas — but come on parents — look at the example you are setting for your kids. Seeing so many of the overweight women leading these kids this past weekend not only saddened and disappointed me, it angered and annoyed me as well. I get it’s work and change to get moving and take care of yourself, but you owe it to yourself and those kids you love to do it!


Kids are Getting Fatter!


Kids are getting fatter, and many will have to do some serious calorie cutting to avoid that fate as they grow up.

That’s the grim news from a new study that looks at how children have become heaver since 1971. It’s not news that the number of obese children has doubled since the 1970s, with 1 in 6 now officially obese.

What’s new is that these researchers calculated just how much less a child would have to eat on average to stop the trend towards obesity.

Let’s do the math.

According to this new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, children and teens need to cut their calorie intake by 41 calories a day, to stop the weight gain trend. Otherwise, children and teens will weigh about four pounds more across the board.

Read more at NPR: Kids Will Have To Cut Serious Calories To Halt Obesity Trend

Get Your Kids Outside and Moving!


Too Few Kids Getting Outdoors With Mom or Dad

Nearly half of all U.S. preschool-age children don’t get outdoors at least once a day for parent-supervised playtime, researchers reported Monday, causing concern among experts who say early exercise habits could protect children from obesity later in life.

Many children might not be getting enough outdoor exercise because of barriers faced by single parents and families with two working parents, said Dr. Pooja Tandon, a pediatrician with the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, who led the research.

The good news, Tandon said, is that “these young children are naturally programmed to be active if given the opportunities.”

Tandon’s study, which appeared online Monday, on the website of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, was based on parental surveys from a national study of nearly 9,000 U.S. children, a sample size representing about 4 million children. The children, all born in 2001, were followed for several years and their parents, usually mothers, were interviewed several times, including the year before their children entered kindergarten.

Along with finding that 49 percent of children were not getting outdoors with a parent at least once every day, she and her colleagues from the research institute and the University of Washington found that those youngsters whose parents took them outdoors to play tended to be boys, children with lots of playmates and those whose parents were exercisers.

Children more often fell short of recommended exercise if their mothers were Asian, African-American or Hispanic, although the study didn’t delve into the reasons. “Being physically active is good for your brain, for your learning,” Tandon said in an interview.

Previous research, she said, has found that hyperactive kids with wandering attention do better after they have had nature breaks, which seem to make it easier to return to class, sit down and refocus.

When you Know Better, you Do Better!


Here are 2 articles aimed at us parents! We give so much of ourselves making sure our kids have the right education, the right extra activities — how about we start with making sure they get exercise and eat healthy? Pay special attention to the 2nd article and the 4 things many of us are doing wrong when it comes to helping our kids learn to eat properly. I am guilty of those things myself — awareness is the first step in fixing it….


Proven: Kids Get Smarter Just from Doing This One Simple Thing

An extensive review of relevant research has demonstrated that the more physically active schoolchildren are, the better they do academically. 

Researchers analyzed 14 studies, ranging in size from as few as 50 participants to as many as 12,000. 

All of the studies involved children between the ages of 6 and 18.

Education For Parents: 4 Things You Are Doing Wrong

One of the advantages of being an adult is that you can make choices by yourself, to decide what is good about you an what isn’t! What happens if despite of your desire to change, there is something stuck, somewhere deep inside your unconsciousness, which is resisting the positive transformation? Why is that unconscious denial? No will? Bad goals? Or maybe, truth is somewhere far away in our past, dug in our childhood?

If we realize it or not, most of our habits and the following behavior are formed in our childhood. Our unconscious is a powerful “engine”, which controls our reactions, feelings and behavior! Could we influence our unconsciousness, so it could be under our control, but not vice versa?

Probably you couldn’t guess what is on my mind, and because I do not want you to get bored, I will get more specific! More often than not I meet parents that decided to lead healthier life. That is a wonderful thing, but what bothers me is their approach to their children’s nutrition! How often do you hear “ Oh, I do not eat pizza, but I am taking one for my son!”; “ I just cooked a delicious healthy dinner, but now I have to prepare some fries for my children!”; “ I love eating fruits and vegetables, but my children consider them tasteless, that is why I have to prepare some cookies for a dessert!”…

Parents are those that are supposed to educate their children. When you habituate them to be good,caring and honest to treat others well, you could try harder and teach them to respect and love themselves and their own health! It is a fact, that the habits from our childhood, accompany us throughout our entire life. A change is always possible but it is a really hard thing to do!

Do you remember how hard it was for you to give up on soda or your grandmother’s pumpkin pie? What about the pop corn in the cinema? Or the ice cream after the hard day at school or at work? Is that what you’d like for your kids? Do you want to condemn them to a similar future? Do you want them to feel the way you did, when you were trying to get rid of the bad habits? I doubt it!

If your child is eating junk, don’t blame commercials, or “the better tasting” ice-cream, pizza or you name it. The fault is all yours! Yes, you read it right-YOURS! There are always side factors, which are making an influence, but as you could educate your child to respect people, even when there are a bunch of arrogant and bad people out there, you could also teach them to love tasty, real, nutritious, healthy food!

The Young with Cancer


Cancer’s most isolated patients

For decades, the needs of adolescents and young adults with the disease have been slighted. That’s beginning to change. Physicians and researchers acknowledge that for decades, the needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer have been slighted. They frequently receive inconsistent treatment and follow-up care, and clinical trials and research focused on this age group have been scarce, according to oncologists and a report by the National Cancer Institute.

More than 72,000 adolescents and young adults — defined by the cancer institute as ages 15 to 39 — are diagnosed with cancer each year. For many, the disease is detected late for various reasons: Patients don’t recognize the symptoms or have no health insurance, or the cancer is initially mistaken for something else.

That may help explain why there has been very little improvement in cancer survival rates among adolescents and young adults, even as the rates for childhood cancers have risen steadily over the last few decades.

On top of the physical burdens of the disease, many young adults feel a painful isolation.
Physicians and researchers acknowledge that for decades, the needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer have been slighted. They frequently receive inconsistent treatment and follow-up care, and clinical trials and research focused on this age group have been scarce, according to oncologists and a report by the National Cancer Institute.

More than 72,000 adolescents and young adults — defined by the cancer institute as ages 15 to 39 — are diagnosed with cancer each year. For many, the disease is detected late for various reasons: Patients don’t recognize the symptoms or have no health insurance, or the cancer is initially mistaken for something else.

That may help explain why there has been very little improvement in cancer survival rates among adolescents and young adults, even as the rates for childhood cancers have risen steadily over the last few decades. 

On top of the physical burdens of the disease, many young adults feel a painful isolation.

Call us Urban!


I got the kids ready for school – drove them in the pouring rain came back and got ready to go to a 930A CrossFit class. It’s fun to mix it up but normally I’m at work so I can’t make a 930A class.

Last night, I took Hannah and Nate to CrossFit Kids — I just loved watching Hannah so focused and determined. She won the plank hold competition 2x. You could tell just by looking at her that she was not going to break plank until the last athlete did. Gotta love her. Nate loves to go on the mat and do all sorts of breakdancing/hip hop moves. I will never forget the time I put on a hoodie for him and he tells me he has to have the hood up because it’s hip hop! Well duh of course! My kids are so darn urban.

Walking Lunges
Bear Crawls
Skip Jumps

Squats! Squats! Squats!

For Time: 800 m Run Tabata Bottom To Bottom Air Squat 800 m Run
total: 12:52

It was pouring rain & that just added to the fun of running. Gotta Love CrossFit.


Go to Top