Category Archives for Fitness

Exercise Can Save the Future Generations

The Missing Link: How Exercise & Healthy Living Can Save the Future Generations

In bygone days, neighborhood children ran and played outdoors from dawn ‘til dusk, biking through the dirt and capering in the woods. Moms and dads whistled loudly when it was time to come inside and eat dinner, and then the children all scattered home. But that is not the norm today.

More awareness for lurking danger keeps children closer to home with a play radius not much further than the front yard, and the advent of the internet connects children to friends from a computer screen and chair so they no longer galivant together through hidden paths in the woods. Today, children run less and have more sedentary play and organized socializing through contained play dates at friends’ houses in a playroom.

The change from the wild abandon of yore to the more confined and structured play of today is almost visceral. You can feel the social constraints that limit children’s activity as well as the restless energy stored within them, untapped and waiting to burst. In the absence of natural play that wiles away the day with large expenditures of energy, we must create the opportunity for children to let loose and play with gusto.

Creating Active Play

Children of all ages have an amazing capacity for spending energy, and their musculoskeletal systems are developmentally craving movement and full-body engagement. There just isn’t always enough opportunity for them to move in today’s daily routine, so we must be conscious of creating opportunities for them to get the physical activity their bodies require.

Gym classes, after school activity groups, and playdates that include movement are ways to incorporate active play into a child’s day. Ideally, one or more of these occurring daily would be best so that children have ample time to unleash their stores of energy. It’s vital to set aside dedicated time for activity so that children can fully develop their bodies and become healthy. Adults may need to make a little more effort to provide these opportunities, but it’s so worthwhile. The result of more active children is better not just for their health, but for the future.

Long Lasting Benefits To Active Play

Long Lasting Benefits To Active Play

Without activity, our bodies experience atrophy. Atrophy is a condition of the muscles, joints, and bones that renders them weak and incapable of doing their primary job to support the body in all its functions. Atrophy occurs over prolonged periods of inactivity during which the body is at rest for too long. While it’s not life threatening, atrophy contributes to other illnesses or diseases that certainly do harm or limit lifespans.

Atrophy is the result of a body that has not been allowed to perform in full; the human body is designed to work. The body is a system and a machine that regenerates and produces energy as needed; the body is meant to function. Muscle tissue benefits from use and building up strength, and without movement, those muscles will atrophy. Like any system, weaken one point and the rest will follow suit until the whole system collapses.

Luckily, the opposite is true:  continued use will allow the body to grow stronger and prevent atrophy, feeding the system so that it builds itself up. An active body is a healthy body, staving off the harmful consequences of inactivity, like atrophy. It’s vital to stay active.

Children who engage in active play times will continue to build their system and grow stronger. The obstacles to unabandoned outdoor play time and the sedentary lifestyles we have grown accustomed to in society today foster an environment rife with atrophy, so we need to counteract the effects of this by including active times within our lifestyles.

Lasting Changes

The expression, “Knowledge is Power,” strikes at the heart of the problems facing today’s youngest generation:  knowing that we need to stay active to be healthy is the first step to seeking those opportunities. Understanding the harm and causes of atrophy allows us to push against the forces that create the condition so that we can avoid it.

Technology and screen time are conducive to creating atrophy of the human body, so creating movement and activity away from those factors is the start. Children who learn to balance their screen time with active pursuits will develop healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Many times, safety concerns push parents to provide indoor screen time so that children can play in a non-threatening environment. By offering a safe space to be active, parents can now give their children this advantage.

The Healthy Living Chain Reaction 

Giving children the advantage of opportunities to be physically active starts a chain reaction that leads to healthy living as follows: exposing children to regular physical activity establishes a habit; children learn to seek and engage with physical activities; this early exposure and habit lead to skill development, and skills give children knowledge and the ability to pursue even more activity as they grow up.

Once the habit and skills become ingrained, today’s generation of children will be healthier adults tomorrow. The desire for more movement will lead to more individuals seeking activity which in turn influences society. If there is demand, there will be supply, and economic principles will drive society to meet the need.

As society continues to develop more technology to replace the need for humans to act, it will be ever more important for society to have an innate desire to be physically active. Understanding the connection between a healthy body and lifestyle and teaching skills to engage in physical activity will stave off the effects of atrophy and the encroachment of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

As the first link in the chain reaction, childhood physical activity initiates the healthy beliefs and actions that will define the future. Starting now, we can create a healthier future for the next generations by promoting and providing access to exercise.

We Can’t Thank You Enough

The year is waning, and soon we’ll be ringing in 2020. Before we gear up and finish the year, now is a good time to pause and reflect on the importance of 2019 and all that has occurred.

Every Year Is Important

At Skillastics, our mission is to create positive physical activity for all children—the heartbeat of our work is providing for children so they have the ability to stay physically active and enjoy the feeling of physical health. To our core, we believe that children who enjoy physical activity will feel the effects beyond just within their bodies but also in other ways, becoming healthier in all aspects of their lives.

This belief is our driving force because we passionately see a connection between physical health and the ability for a child to live a full and meaningful life, to engage with the world and make a difference. We need children to fulfill their entire purpose, and we wholeheartedly believe that physical activity is the ticket.

The Importance of You

And we couldn’t do it without you, our customers who are the vehicle to bringing children through to the other side, from struggling to engaging with life. You are the front line that reaches these children, finds them at their baseline, and guides them forward. We appreciate you.

We are well aware that when you work with Skillastics, you’re taking our mission and leading the charge to bring children hope, opportunity, and access to a better future, for themselves and others. It’s a big deal to us, and we appreciate the dedication you have to children and the work you do.

Before the year ends and we focus on the new year, we want to thank you, our customers, for the work you’ve accomplished this year. We want to highlight your efforts and the meaningful work you do. Without you, children may or may not succeed, but with you, they have that chance to thrive. When you spend your time with these children and use Skillastics to break down barriers to physical activity, then you’re contributing to something bigger and greater.

We can’t thank you enough.

Something for You This Year

As a gesture and token of our appreciation, we are offering FREE Skillastics Task Cards as a show of Gratitude this year. Just email us your contact info including your mailing address (below) and we’ll mail an extra set of Skillastics Task cards to the first 100 customers that respond. We want to support your work, and we want you to feel the magnitude of your influence on children.

Thank you for working with us to achieve our mission and bring lasting health to children through physical activity.

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Learn from an NBA Star

Several years ago, I was looking at our sales database and I recognized the name, Kendal Gill. Kendall Gill was a journeyman that played many years in the NBA. I was intrigued that an NBA player would have purchased some of my products.

A couple weeks later I get this phone call and the man on the other line said: “Hi Sandy, I know who you are. Do you know who I am? My name is Kendall Gill.” He exclaimed, “I’ve been in the NBA for 12 years now and this summer I am dedicating my summer to learning how to handle the basketball better because I want to be able to hang with the younger guys.” He continued, “I purchased some of your DVD’s, and they helped me out a lot, but I was wondering if you could give me some one-on-one lessons.”

I thought to myself, this guy makes a lot of money, he’s in the NBA, yet he’s asking me, a woman, to help him handle the basketball better. But more importantly I thought, this guy is a winner. He was an established player in the NBA. For the most part he could have chosen to just go through the motions, but he wanted to get better and it didn’t matter that I was a woman. He believed that I could help him improve.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting to play basketball or an NBA great like Kendall Gill, you can always learn more from coaches, parents and others who may have valuable knowledge to share.

Kendall Gill’s work ethic is something to admire.

Light the Olympic Torch! Winter Olympic Theme Resources Guaranteed to Inspire Your Students

Can you believe it, the Winter Olympics begin early next month! Even though opening ceremonies are less than a month away, you still have time to knock out some amazing Olympic theme lessons. Here are some ideas;

1) An amazing winter Olympic resource is Bfit4 Winter Skillastics®. This Skillastics® Activity Kit focuses on specific movements that Olympic athletes need to develop in winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

With your guidance, students can imagine themselves in the role while they are downhill skiing as they perform lateral jumps, or pretend balancing on a snowboard or holding plank position on their sled as they race down the hill. (All activities included in Bfit4 Winter Skillastics®). The skills will enhance many components of the physically fit student by building strength, flexibility, endurance and balance needed for these winter activities.
It can be played with a fun twist to the traditional game as well by adding a lap of popular winter activities around your gym in between rolls of the die. For example, students might simulate snow shoeing or ice skating (shoe boxes), as well as cross country skiing (old rags), or sledding and the luge run (scooters).


BFit4 Winter Skillastics® is a fun, easy, active and an innovative way to celebrate the Winter Olympics and bring the outdoor world of winter activities into your existing program.
CLICK HERE to share the Bfit4 Winter Skillastics® Experience with your students today! In honor of the Olympics, we are offering a 15% discount. Use code BF418 at our storefront checkout or mention code on purchase order. Offer Expires February 4, 2018.

2) In addition, CLICK HERE for great ideas to recreate Winter Olympic events

5 Reasons Why Skillastics® Will Make Your Program Great

 

Can you imagine your job getting easier, and more productive?  What if you could maximize participation without wasting the limited time you have?  Wouldn’t it be great to have a resource at your disposal guaranteeing a glowing administrative review?

With Skillastics® you can.

The Skillastics® Activity Kit System is a powerful resource that will transform your program. Not Convinced? Following are 5 key reasons why Skillastics® will undeniably make your program great.

1) Increase Academic Learning
A requirement you are constantly hearing from your administration. Skillastics® bridges the gap between physical activity and academics by seamlessly incorporating vocabulary, literacy, math and STEM learning. Skillastics® is an innovative way of including more academic integration.

2) Connecting with Classroom Teachers
What makes Skillastics® stand out beyond any other physical activity resource is its ability to connect directly with classroom teachers through the Skillastics® Custom Question Card Templates for nutrition, STEM and math. Simply share these templates with classroom teachers and ask them to create questions that are relevant to the lessons that they are currently teaching. You would then take these questions and add them to your program while your students are playing Skillastics®. Instant connection!

3) Organized Chaos
The best large group resource available! You will not find a better large group resource out there. Period. Any instructor that is using Skillastics® properly will tell you that the Skillastics® Activity Kit System exceeds their expectations and reinforces all the reasons why they decided to add Skillastics® to their program.

4) Steller Assessment
It is crucial to assess students to make sure they are really learning. If you, your students, parents, and administration truly want to see fitness progression in your class, the Skillastics® Activity Kit System is the most effective resource to measure movement in a variety of ways.

Fully Engaged
Students are full engaged, which frees you up to conduct formative assessment,    measuring all students progress and mastery of skill without interruption.

Effective Feedback
With students fully engaged, Skillastics® provides a more relaxed atmosphere for feedback and individual instruction when needed.

Summative Assessment with Technology
Skillastics® is the most effective resource to measure student outcomes using heart rate monitors or other technology based devices.

5) The Skillastics® Activity Kit System Saves Time
Do you see your student’s once a week? Twice a week if you’re lucky? How many times do you see a new lesson activity that looks like fun, but takes much too long to set up? The innovative Skillastics® technique takes less than a minute to set up and allows for maximum participation while increasing fitness levels.

Introducing the Skillastics® Activity Kit System into your program will exceed your expectations and fulfill all your objectives. Visit www.skillastics.com or email us at info@skillastics.com to transform your program today.

Our Commitment to You

The responsibility to our customers does not end after a sale.  We are committed to providing you with the training & tools that help you use Skillastics® successfully.  As well as the resources that provide many options that add to the multiple ways in which it can be implemented.

  1. Supplemental Documents – Customers receive access to our resource page that includes:
    1. Task Card Activities
    2. Sample Lesson Plans
    3. Family Fitness Event Manual
    4. Quick Reference Guides
  2. Professional Development – Our talented team of Skillastics® Specialists will actively engage all participants through 1, 2, Half Day or Full Day Training that is customized to fit your needs.
  3. Optional Add-On Equipment Available – Do you need equipment to compliment your Sport Specific Skillastics® Activity Kits?  We are your one-stop shop for quality, affordable balls, racquets, and other physical activity tools and resources.
  4. On-Going Support – We will provide you a lifetime of support and assistance.

We are committed to guiding you through a successful implementation of Skillastics® into your program.

Developing Volleyball Competency & MVPA

A quality physical education program has curriculum, units, and lessons that are standards based.  One of the important standards for a physical educator is Standard 1 which states that a physically literate person demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns (SHAPE  America; National Standards & Grade Level Outcomes).  This standard allows physical educators to prepare students to participate in many different physical activities and sports with confidence, which will lead to a life full of activity.

I have taught physical education for 23 years, and every year I always ask my students why they may not like certain sports and physical activities that we do.  Each year, I get the same response:  “I don’t like the activity because I’m not very good at it.”  I then ask them how they could get better at it.  Well, we all know that if they got better at the skills, it would make the game play better, and then more fun will be had when they play the activity/sport.

Along with Standard 1, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) has become a major focus in our lessons.  However, with this focus on MVPA, some have dropped focusing on Standard 1 because focusing on skills may not get their students’ heart rate up into the appropriate range.  But, this does not have to be the case.  Skills can still be taught effectively while focusing on MVPA as well.

As I have traveled across the country doing presentations at various state and national conferences, my platform and focus has been on infusing fitness into daily lessons.  One of the sports I present on is volleyball, and the teaching of the forearm and overhead pass.  One way I used to teach these skills was with the command style, and they were pretty stationary.  As I went back and looked at my lessons and started asking myself about whether or not they were getting to the appropriate MVPA, I noticed that I needed to change the way I had the students work on their skills.  We all know that if they lack the skills, the game of volleyball is a serve, it hits the ground, and the team scores a point; not much fun for anyone.  So, with a little thinking and creativity, I have been able to increase MVPA and skill development.

Within my research of trying to find ways to increase skills and MVPA, I came across the Skillastics® program.  The first one I used, was the basketball program.  Then, the volleyball kit came out, and I knew I had to have it.  Skillastics® fits with everything I believe in and want to accomplish in my class.  The one nice thing about it, I didn’t have to come up with the fitness activities and there would be a lot of variation in my lessons.  Throughout my volleyball unit, I use the task cards to help with the skill development.  It allows the students to work independently, but yet stay focused on the skills but yet get in a good workout.  Once they have learned the tasks from the kit, we use the entire kit to play Volleyball Skillastics®.  While they are doing this, I know they are working on the skills, increasing MVPA, and having fun.

Skill development is crucial in giving the students confidence they can participate competently in the sport or activity.  However, just because you work on skills, doesn’t mean that MVPA must be lost.  All you need to do is think, be creative, or use a program that already focuses on both.

CLICK HERE To Learn More About Volleyball Skillastics®!

Working on Your Weak Hand

Don’t we just love to practice drills that we are great at? I mean, think about it. You probably have a dribble move that you’re pretty good at. When you practice, do you practice that move a lot? If you are like most athletes, we like to practice the things we’re good at. It’s easier, but most importantly, we’re successful at it! It’s not fun to practice the drills that we’re not very good at because we’re not as successful at it, therefore we go back to our old standard move that we succeed at.

This is why it’s so difficult to develop the weak hand. We succeed with our strong hand, so why practice with our weak hand? In order to become a complete player that can dribble with both hands in both directions, you need to develop your weak hand. I am right handed. But I prefer to dribble with my left hand. I’ve practiced dribbling with my left hand so much that now I prefer dribbling with my left hand. I’ve said it before – practice is the secret. Here are things you can do to develop that weak hand:

  1. When you are practicing alone, dribble the majority of time with your weak hand. When practicing moves to the basket that you would normally do with your strong hand, use your weak hand instead.
  2. Practice dribbling with both hands equally. If you dribble 100 times with the right hand, then dribble 100 times with your left hand. If you drive to the basket with your right hand 10 times, then drive to the basket 10 times with your left hand on the left side of the basket.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use that weak hand in pick up games. So what if you make a mistake. This is the place where you can make mistakes. This is the place where you gain confidence using that weak hand.

 

 

Fuel Up to Play 60 Supplement for Your Application

We’ve made it easy for you!

If you would like to include Skillastics® and Skillastics® Nutritional Cards in your Fuel Up to Play 60 Application, CLICK HERE for information.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Testimonial

Click HERE to learn how Fuel Up to Play 60 has positively changed the culture in this New York school.

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