Tag Archive | how to get moving

Zamzee at St. John Nepomucene School

By Linda Maly, St. John Nepomucene School
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Inquiring minds want to know…did we get our Zamz? That’s what the students in St. John’s kindergarten and first grade class wonder after every recess and activity break! Our Zamzee is a very important part of our daily routine, but how did that come about?

I am, yes, the kindergarten and first grade teacher at St. John Nepomucene School in Weston, Nebraska. I am also one of the program advisers for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program at our school.

I learned about Zamzee at the Fuel Up to Play 60 national summit last July. Each of the students and advisers attending received one as a gift. The students were convinced immediately as to how valuable and exciting a Zamzee could be. They found a computer, checked out the site, and were moving and racking up points quickly! “We can get prizes by just moving,” they said. I didn’t know how that could be true. I must say, I didn’t grasp the potential of this meter until I got it home and began using it myself. Then, I was hooked!

I started thinking about how I could use Zamzee with my students, and decided to include Zamzee as one of the jobs posted on our job chart. I called it being the “Zamzee Leader.” You know…we have a line leader, calendar helper, clean up crew helpers…and a Zamzee leader. The Zamzee leader is responsible for helping to choose a Challenge, taking the meter out for recesses, and doing his best to make sure the meter keeps moving. The leader can pass the meter off to a friend if he wants, but needs to bring it back to plug in after recess. Our Zamzee has been part of football games, tag around the jungle gym, swinging with friends, and leaf pile jumping! It’s even been lost beneath a leaf pile over night!

The students love being the Zamzee Leader! When I asked them why, the replies were numerous!

“You get to exercise, be healthy, and earn things,” said a first grader. Continue reading

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My Kids Would Make Excellent Vampires

By Andrew Kardon from Mommy’s Busy… Go Ask Daddy

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My kids would make excellent vampires. No, they don’t enjoy drinking blood; they just hate going outside.

Summer. Winter. Fall. Spring. Name your season and they’ll still whine and complain if you dare rip them from their cocoon and drag them outside.

My wife and I, on the other hand, love nature. Before we were married, we used to go on tons of nature walks, hiking in the woods for hours as we followed trail blaze after trail blaze. We’ve explored gorgeous (and freezing!) ice caves. We’ve even gone kayaking on the Hudson River with my parents.

Ironic then, that it’s one of nature’s cruel jokes which sees two nature lovers produce offspring that run as far away as they can from the outdoors. Yep, we love nature and hate that our kids hate it. So how are two nature-loving parents supposed to get our kids enjoying the outdoors? It’s certainly a challenge. Continue reading

Learning to Exercise for Fun: My Kids Before and After Zamzee

By Ann Greenberg

The Greenberg Girls

The Greenberg Girls

About a year ago I signed my daughters up for a 5k race and found out about a local company called Zamzee. Having spent the better part of the last 12+ years trying to keep my three darling daughters healthy and physically fit, I was intrigued by Zamzee’s claim to engage kids in a more active lifestyle. Days later, we had ourselves 3 shiny, pink meters. Unsure of what to do, I put the girls (then aged 7, 10 and 12) to work exploring the Zamzee.com website and signing up their meters. Almost instantaneously, the way my kids viewed physical activity changed…for the better.

Let me backtrack and age myself a bit first by saying I grew up in the era of riding bikes to school (helmet-free of course), playing at the local park with friends until dusk, swimming in the neighbors pool and heading home, on my own, before the street lamps went on. I didn’t play on 3 different teams year round, I didn’t watch what I ate, and I was a healthy size with little or no effort.

When I started a family of my own, I never expected to struggle to find the time and energy to keep my family healthy, fit and active. Kids today exercise in a structured and organized form. There is no walking to school for my children. Even riding bikes is an effort that usually requires loading 3+ bikes into a too small car and driving someplace remote and safe to do so. In my attempts to keep my kids active, I pull my hair out with complicated daily carpools to and from a half dozen different athletic fields, and I find myself spending hours in my car.

So when these shiny little Zamzee meters entered our world, I had no idea what I was in for.

Continue reading

How (NOT) to Help Your Kid Train for a One-Mile Running Race

By Andrew Kardon from Mommy’s Busy… Go Ask Daddy!

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Ryan

I hate running. I really do. My wife, however, loves it. She doesn’t seem to mind that crazy awful feeling that your lungs are about to pop like a balloon. She’s run a few 5Ks and even a half marathon. I love rooting her on and think it’s great inspiration for our kids.

My five year old, Ryan, is a typical boy who loves video games, action figures, and imaginative play. He’ll toss a football with me in the backyard for a good 10 minutes, but then he’s done. If things ever get too tough, he just gives up and moves on.

So when my wife signed up for a local 5K to benefit our neighborhood schools, she mentioned that there’s also a kids’ one mile race. Ryan said he wanted to sign up. Yeah, I think I fractured a tooth when my jaw hit the floor.

Knowing full well that Ryan’s one of those kids that will change his mind more times than a teenage girl changes her outfits, I didn’t expect him to follow through. We asked him multiple times, though, and he insisted he wanted to do it, so we signed him up.

About a month before the race, we figured Ryan should practice running to build up some stamina. So Ryan ran to the end of our street, stopping once or twice on the way. That was maybe 1/8th of a mile.

He was out of breath. He was winded. He was exhausted. But he still insisted that he could run the race. Continue reading

Exercising to be a Role Model

By Whitney from Rookie Moms

I’m a 39-year old mother of two and I fit into my clothes just fine. True, I don’t look like Gwyneth Paltrow– who sports those same credentials — in my bathing suit, but my weight is healthy and my energy level is decent, I think. Still, I know that exercising is an important habit to embrace, and not only that, it’s my responsibility to model good behavior for my children.

How I envy my husband who took up running two years ago with dedication. He’s made it a ritual and leaves his workout clothes just outside of our bedroom door before he goes to sleep so that he can sneak out in the morning without waking me. Mostly I have slept through this routine he’s developed. Or I stir to the sound of his leaving just enough to slip feelings of guilt into my brain as I enjoy my last thirty minutes of “sleep.” What I’m actually doing is keeping my eyes closed and thinking about how I should squeeze into my sports bra and fire up my Jillian Michaels DVD.

Continue reading

Watching the World Series with the Kids

Having the San Francisco Giants play in the World Series is a special opportunity to teach kids about baseball, and help instill a lifelong love for being active. After all, it’s not every year that your hometown baseball team makes it to the World Series! So how can we use the World Series to get kids moving?

Teaching kids lifelong habits of physical activity doesn’t always have to start with them playing sports themselves. Just ask Whitney from Rookie Moms: her son Julian didn’t like sports until he started playing Fantasy Football. Now he’s a full-fledged football fanatic! As Whitney says, “You never know which aspect of an activity will be the one that harnesses a child’s enthusiasm.”

Make a special occasion out of watching the game: let the kids invite a few friends over and serve up some healthy snacks. Teach the kids the names and numbers of the star players, because watching a game is more fun if you know the players. There’s nothing more exciting than recognizing Buster Posey when he steps up to bat, and cheering when he hits a home run!

We asked David Kim, our IT Manager and resident Giants expert, which players to watch from each team. Here’s his advice: Continue reading

Getting Your Kids Active: How My Son Became a Football Fanatic

By Whitney from RookieMoms.com

Today my son Julian is a football fanatic, memorizing player statistics, playing catch with his dad in the backyard, and dreaming of becoming the fastest sprinter in his school. But it wasn’t always this way. Last year Julian didn’t like sports, let alone want to play them himself, or care about catching such things as the touchdown pass. Last summer Heather’s son Holden went to sports camp, and I told Julian that there are camps where you do eight sports each day, knowing pretty well he’d hate that idea. He looked at me with amazement and disgust.

At that time, he spent his recesses sitting on the bench with his female best friend discussing the detailed characteristics of their Webkinz, a set of plush animals with online lives. They enjoyed this fun virtual world they were imagining together, and I had no problem with it. He attended science camp all summer and avoided kick ball games by hanging out with the counselors, making friendship bracelets.

I’m not really a sports person myself, but I worried that he was missing out on important social skills like the ability to join group games or play catch. I didn’t have to worry for long. Last fall, everything changed. Continue reading