Wouldn’t it be fabulous to witness a new generation of health conscious kids slowly but surely reducing the obesity epidemic in this country? To hear all toddlers ask for a banana instead of a cookie? Watching youngsters exercise their body by running and playing outdoors instead of exercising only a few fingers playing video games?
The truth is they won’t do these things until they are exposed to them, which is why it is crucial for these healthy habits to be taught at home as well as where the child spends a portion of their day.
That’s why I was extremely impressed when I visited the new Renaissance Athletic Club (RAC) near Lake Michigan – it has an activity learning center where young ones up to age 7 partake in daily exercise with kids their age and learn about nutrition when they are outside of their home. I couldn’t help but notice the healthy living posters and learning materials all over the walls when I entered the room; seeing the new “MyPlate” on display showing these youngsters what a well-balanced meal looks like was absolutely fantastic.
These kids are encouraged to become their best by the RAC’s trained professionals as they have a “ton of fun” while participating in the age-appropriate exercises and activities that are offered. Learning how to live a healthy life starts before they even learn to say their alphabet … and I’m assuming that they’ll remember it for just as long!
But before I noticed the walls in the childcare room, there were little bright colored chairs that caught my eye. They looked like oversized gumdrops on wheels! I didn’t sit on a chair because they were made for young children, but I was tempted! Lucky for me there were more of these in an adult office made for people my size. Did I try one out? You’d better believe I did and I loved it!
It’s called a balance (Zenergy) ball chair but there are also chairs that offer a back to rest against. These balance ball chairs actually provide isometric exercise because they challenge your abdominal muscles as you try to maintain your position on the chair and resist moving. Due to those benefits alone, these chairs are great for adults to use in place of the standard office chair. They also benefit children in many ways which is the reason why the RAC made the decision to provide the childcare room with these colorful additions.
I thought it was ironic. There were balance chairs along with posters displaying balanced meals in this room for children to be exposed to within this healthy environment. Understand that when we as parents and caregivers provide these types of tools which help a child learn how to keep a healthy balance during their beginning years, they will continue to strive to keep a healthy balance when they are our age … and even older!
Photo credit: Jodi Davis