Walk to School Workout

September 6, 2010 10:13:54 AM PDT
We've heard it for years now: Childhood obesity is an epidemic. Now it is an issue on the White House radar thanks to the First Lady. Michelle Obama has created the Let's Move initiative to increase opportunities for kids to be physically active, both in and out of school and create new opportunities for families to be moving together. One of the simplest ways to help reach this goal is for our children to walk to school, says Cathy Lang, author and personal fitness trainer. The number of children walking to school has plummeted over the years for a variety of reasons, she adds. But thanks to this program we have the tools to overcome those obstacles and safely provide the opportunity to increase physical activity.

Cathy points out some facts & figures parents should know:

  • Children need 60 minutes of active and vigorous play every day to grow up to a healthy weight. (Source: www.letsmove.gov )
  • 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 ? hours to using entertainment media including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies in a typical day. (Source: www.letsmove.gov )
  • A third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity. (Source: www.letsmove.gov )

Cathy says the makers of athletic wear are lending a hand to "Let's Move" by offering a wide range of footwear, apparel and accessories. Mom and dad can choose wisely so their youngsters are outfitted with gear that is appropriate and stylish. "Nobody has to lose," Cathy says. She has some tips on how youngsters can move...with style:

1. PICK YOUR KICKS WISELY

  • HIGHER LEARNING: No matter what shoe you wear-toning shoes like the Reebok EasyTone or casual faves like Converse Chuck Taylors-elevate your booty by taking the stairs. If you are feeling ambitious, make it a rule to go up to your floor, back down and up again every trip. CALORIES BURNED: approximately ten calories per minute when ascending, and seven when descending.
  • BY THE BOOK: Sneakers are a fall fashion staple, and running shoes are brighter and more colorful than ever! Nike, Reebok and Asics have infused their top performance sneakers with pops of color. Do your feet (and your fitness goals) a favor by choosing sneakers as your everyday shoes. According to Cathy, You can boost your workout by adding a little extra weight to your bag. CALORIES BURNED: For every additional five lbs you carry on a ten minute walk to class, you will boost your burn by 14.25 calories. Walking a 15 lb bag to class will burn approximately 43 calories.
  • ON THE FAST TRACK: You know you can use your campus track for more than running. Get a full lower body workout by inserting lunges. Run at the highest intensity you can. When it's time for a break, tighten your lower half by doing walking lunges while your heart rate and breathing slow before returning to your cardio workout. A great running shoe is ideal for the track and will support this active rest as well.
2. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Don't give up because you think you can't fit a walk into your morning because mom and dad have time to complete the round-trip and get to work on time. A bike ride is perfect for those super busy mornings. Your travel time will be cut down meaning you may only have to set the alarm 15 minutes earlier.

3. PASS ON YOUR FASHION WISDOM
A fabulous bag makes any outfit: Hopefully your child is bringing their schoolbooks home every night! They could easily be hauling 10+lbs so a good bag is a must. While the most ideal choice is a backpack with both straps over the shoulders you can relent by agreeing that super cute one shoulder bag has to be carried on one shoulder walking to school and another walking home so that the workload is shared by both sides of the body.

4. IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Yes; that came from a previous First Lady, but it applies here too. Talk to your neighbors and arrange for every parent to take 1 or 2 days a week or if there is a parent who stays home or works from the house maybe they can take charge several days a week. You may end up jealous of the way their pants fit after a few weeks of walking the kids to (and ideally from) school. There are excellent resources available to help you choose safe routes and even plan community events to popularize actively getting to school at www.saferoutesinfo.org

5. ASK ME!
If you have questions about the benefits of walking or biking to school (for you or your children), what to wear, how to choose a shoe or other ways to incorporate physical activity into your families day ask me at www.facebook.com/ladyfootlocker

ABOUT CATHY LANG

Cathy Lang is an industry leading fitness veteran who has been seen frequently on TV across the country. Based on over 17 years of feedback from her female personal training clients Cathy created a first-to-market brand that customizes workouts according to desired wardrobe Cathy Lang's Wardrobe Workouts. For over a decade, Cathy Lang has incorporated these lessons and taught women how to customize their workout for the variety of styles each woman wants to wear. The former trainer of NFL and NBA athletes brought this straightforward, highly individualized and personally relevant fashion-based approach to fitness to the masses in her book, Cathy Lang's Wardrobe Workouts: Bye Bye Bra Fat (Nightengale Press, 2004).


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