Body and Brain Workout for Our Next Generation

PowellPack_Shoes

Body and Brain Workout for Our Next Generation
By my one and only, Chris Powell

Our children are our future. Unfortunately, many of them are growing up without any knowledge or education on how to manage their health through nutrition and exercise. Because of this, many of them will likely suffer from poor health at an early age, greatly affecting their quality of life. This is heartbreaking. They don’t deserve that kind of future! We MUST empower them.

Here’s the catch:
Nutrition can be an extremely complicated topic to teach. Most adults still struggle to fully understand how our macronutrients affect our bodies. It needs to be fun and simple – and most schools just don’t have the time in their schedules to teach this sort of curriculum. And now, physical education has been removed from many of the schools in our nation – to provide more room for hard sciences and “test taking skills.” While we understand the positive intention behind this, what many don’t realize is that PE isn’t about climbing a rope, running on a track, or kicking a ball. PE is about priming our bodies for maximum physical and mental performance.

By removing activity from our schools, we are actually taking away the physiological foundation for building knowledge…beginning with brain function. Research has proven time and again the neurological benefits of physical activity before learning:

  • Increased attention span
  • Increased memory
  • Increased learning

HP_Marley

In addition, we are robbing many of our children the opportunity to PLAY – to run, jump, push, pull, and climb…for not just physical gains in fitness, but for mental and intellectual growth as well!

There can be fun and effective new ways to teach our kids how to be healthy for life. If you are a parent or educator, and want to start weaving brain-and-body work into your kids’ daily regimen, try out this awesome exercise-driven nutrition game that I started teaching at the Boys and Girls Club over 10 years ago. It was a hit for years…and is just one of many!

GAME: MY FAVORITE FOOD
This game is best when played on a court (basketball court, tennis court, etc.) or in a court-sized space (small field, etc.).

In each of the four corners of the court are 3 colored papers representing one main food category: Protein, Carbs, Veggies, or Fats. (NOTE: veggies are also technically “carbs,” but it is important that we teach them the categories of carbs to understand the impact on their health and performance.)

PowellPack_StackedKids

In the middle of the court, are four large lists (laminated) of different food categories:
PROTEIN

Beef
Chicken
Turkey
Fish
Greek Yogurt
Eggs
Protein Shakes
Soy

CARBS

Fruit
Cereal
Grains
Pasta
Rice
Corn
Beans
Lentils
Potatoes

VEGGIES

Lettuce
Spinach
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Onions
Kale
Zucchini
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Squash

FATS

Nuts
Butter
Cream
Cheese
Avocado
Oil
Peanut Butter

(NOTE: We typically start with these types of “base foods” as they occur in nature – minimally processed, just to give them an idea for what they are – feel free to add extra, or remove foods as you wish!)

CloseUp_Shoes

BEGINNING THE GAME:

  1. The kids start huddled in circle in the center court. If someone crosses the line, they are “out.” One is chosen to be the “FitMaster.”
  2. To start the game, the “FitMaster” calls out a favorite food from the list by saying “My Favorite Food is….,” then they call out a food from another list.
  3. Immediately the kids in the center must reference the lists to find which category it is in.
  4. Once the food is identified on this list, they then run (or bear crawl) to that corner.
  5. The first three kids to grab a correctly colored piece of paper turn the paper over to reveal a workout challenge like this:
    a. Do 5 leap frogs
    b. Do 10 jumping jacks
    c. Do 7 burpees
  6. Each of the three kids with the papers then instruct the class to do each of their challenges.
  7. On one paper in each category it says “FitMaster.” That person then gets to pick their favorite food….
  8. And the game starts over again.

Once you get into the flow of it, the game is a blast:
a. It incentivizes the kids to learn the lists, giving them advantage to run the class through their exercises, and possibly become the next “FitMaster.”
b. It teaches cooperation as the 3 masters communicate to run the class

Chris Powell 🙂

You can find the kids’ shoes here:

Marley’s Shoes

Cash’s Shoes

Matix’s Shoes


8 Comments

  1. Alexia - October 13, 2015

    Hi.. I have a problem …i weight 175pounds and i mesure 5 foot 1.
    I’m not very fat… I got some … But im working out … So i got muscle. 🙂
    Lately i’ve been working out more because i was getting weight … But now its been a month and i clearly losing fat but on the scale, i did not lose even 1pound ? Please help me what going on ?
    Please help me ..its depressing
    Thanks !

    • Team Powell - October 13, 2015

      Hi Alexia: You could be replacing fat with muscle. Have you been taking your measurements? How’s your nutrition program? That’s a huge key to weight loss. If you’re interested, check out the nutrition part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program here: http://heidpowell.net/2713. It’s an awesome program – you can do this!

  2. Cortney - October 1, 2015

    This is such a great idea I am a personal trainer and I have been wanting to start a class for children I think this would be a great game to play I have been doing a lot of research on how to get kids motivated and make it fun. In this world filled with video games and ipads kids are getting lazy I see extremely obese kids everyday and it breaks my heart. Thanks for the nutritional game.

  3. Chris - October 1, 2015

    As a mom, and as a middle school cross country coach, I really feel this huge challenge facing our kids. This is really similar to a game that I play with my cross country kids, but I love the idea of aging in nutritional education! Thank you cooing sharing such a great idea!

  4. Courtney - September 30, 2015

    Thanks for this idea!! I love it!! I am going to teach this game to my Girl Scout troop, I think they will enjoy it. 🙂

  5. Jennifer - September 30, 2015

    Do you give your kids protein powder? Do you make the same food you and the kids or different? Thank you so much this topic was on my mind lately. I have daughters 2 & 5 and both my husband and I are obese. I never want them to live as I did. Just got your book so starting carb cycling just trying to fit family meals.

    • Team Powell - September 30, 2015

      Hi Jennifer: It’s always best to discuss any dietary supplements with your kids’ healthcare teams first. And Chris and Heidi’s kids eat pretty much what they do – always protein first too, with some added fat on those high carb days. Here’s another post you might like: http://heidipowell.net/7986/funwithfood/. 🙂

  6. Katie - September 30, 2015

    I co-teach at a daycare, working with 4-year-olds, and my part of the day’s activities are music and movement and gross motor. My kids dance, jump, run, count steps, and do yoga (they love cat-cow and are getting pretty good at sun salutations) on any given day both through organized games and activities and free play. I try to model healthy living as best as I can so that with the time I have with them I can hopefully change a few lives for the better.

Leave a reply

Open

Close