Boys & Girls Club and The Arsenal, Muncie CrossFit Collaborate to Motivate Kids To Be Healthy

Kids who are physically active and who have a healthy diet are more likely to do well in school. Not only are physically active kids more academically motivated, alert and successful they have better self-esteem, too.

With increasing opportunities for kids to engage through TV, media, apps and tablets it becomes more and more challenging for parents to focus on the healthy aspects of raising children. However, it has to be a primary concern for parents and caregivers to ensure kids eat healthy and maintain regular physical activity.

This is even challenging among kids who aspire to be athletes. We are constantly inundated with headlines and statistics about childhood obesity and kids’ lack of engagement in regular physical activities.

Motivating kids to be healthy is one of our priorities at the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie. We have a large gym, and plenty of opportunities to engage kids in healthy activities, but this is easier said than done.

In February, we’ve partnered with The Arsenal (Muncie CrossFit) to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle. The Arsenal conducted a fitness field day at the Club earlier this month, and teen-agers go each Wednesday this month to The Arsenal.

We are exposing kids to the basics of physical fitness. The basic design of CrossFit builds purpose, skill, strength, mobility and fitness through constantly varied functional movement.  These are key criteria in every sport, and beneficial at every stage of life.

The foundation of most success in sports and life can be pinned to a few key aspects that are important to build in youth:

  • Purpose and goals
  • behaviors (habits to accomplish those goals)
  • Support and encouragement

In partnership with The Arsenal, home of Muncie CrossFit, we see we see the fruits of these three principles every day at work in our kids.

Youth participation in structured physical activity allows them to build a strong fitness base from which they can transfer to any sport, with the benefit of more strength, power, agility and a body less prone to common injuries.

During CrossFit Field Day at the Boys & Girls Club, kids engaged in low-stress, high-energy activities that were fun and engaging. Our goal was to begin introducing kids to activities they enjoyed while keeping them moving.

Here are some tips to add to your family plan:

  • Sign your kids up for new sports and activities. Even if they’re already good at a particular sport, let them try other sports. Expand their knowledge and abilities. Don’t let them quit too quickly. They should participate at least long enough to learn the basics.
  • Don’t let your kids be too busy to be physically active. Be sure to build in time each day to be active. Experts recommend at least 60 minutes per day. This can be spaced out during the day. Failure to build these good habits for your kids will follow them as adults.
  • Volunteer at school or the Club during fitness time. It will go a long way when your kids see YOU physically active. Participating in activities and helping to supervise reinforces its importance.
  • Focus on fun! Play games. Be creative. If your kids have fun doing physical activity, they’ll want to continue.

Do you have other ideas or tips to share? Leave a comment for other parents about what works in your family.

Micah Maxwell is the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, a graduate of Ball State University of native of Muncie, Indiana. Twitter: @MaxxWellSaid

BJ McKay is the co-founder CEO of The Arsenal, Muncie CrossFit in Muncie, and is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie Board of Directors. @ArsenalLLC