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Kids & Teens


Best Foot Forward

By Ryan Halvorson | April 19, 2018 |

A challenging beginning. Ezra didn’t have an easy start. Born with club feet—a congenital condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape or position—he had his first surgery shortly after birth and spent the first few years of life sleeping with corrective boots.

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Fitter Kids Have More Brain Gray Matter

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | March 19, 2018 |

While much research has pointed to a relationship between kids’ fitness and academic performance, we now have a new piece of the puzzle: A recent study found that aerobic fitness and speed–agility levels among overweight and obese children aged 8–11 were independently associated with more gray matter in parts of the brain related to better academic performance.

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Range of Motion: Full or Partial?

By Len Kravitz, PhD | March 16, 2018 |

Research shows there’s a time and place for both full and partial range of motion in resistance training program design.
Some training systems purposely use partial ROM for various exercises. Moreover, certain surgeries and orthopedic injuries require partial-ROM movements during rehabilitation (Pinto et al. 2012). It seems natural for personal trainers to wonder which is superior: full ROM or partial ROM? ,/p>
Two studies comparing the benefits of partial ROM and full ROM give a clearer view of the landscape.

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There Is Arsenic in Your Rice

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | March 15, 2018 |

For generations, pediatricians have recommended rice cereal as a first food for babies in the transition to eating solids. Rice cereal is easy for babies to eat and is high in iron, an important nutrient for growing brains. However, recent research cited in Consumer Reports found persistently high levels of arsenic in rice and rice products, including infant rice cereal.
Rice tends to absorb more arsenic than other grains mostly because it is grown in water-flooded soil.

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Sugary Drinks in Pregnancy Linked to Increased Asthma Risk in Babies

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | March 15, 2018 |

The thirst for sugary drinks remains strong in all U.S. populations despite multiple health risks. However, moms-to-be have a new reason to decrease (or better, eliminate) sugary drinks during their pregnancies. A new study in Annals of the American Thoracic Society suggests that limiting intake of sweetened beverages may lower babies’ asthma risk in childhood (in addition to reducing the risk of obesity).

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Kids Who Eat Fish Have Higher IQ, Sleep Better

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | March 15, 2018 |

A Scientific Reports study of Chinese school­children found that those who said they ate fish at least twice a week when aged 9–11 slept better and longer and had IQs nearly 5 points higher when they were 12 than children who ate no fish. The authors suggested the higher IQs could be mediated through better-quality sleep. This study adds to a body of science demonstrating strong relationships between fish intake, health and quality of life for kids and adults alike.

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Weight Disparities in Children Worldwide

By Ryan Halvorson | December 12, 2017 |

When it comes to childhood health, lots of emphasis is placed on the risks of being overweight or obese—and an estimated 124 million kids worldwide were in those weight categories in 2016, a tenfold increase since 1975. While this is of great concern, a new study has found that in the same year, 192 million boys and girls were moderately or severely underweight. The researchers believe that family income levels may play a role in a child’s weight.

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New Way to Calculate Childhood Obesity

By Ryan Halvorson | October 13, 2017 |

Over the years, experts have questioned the accuracy of body mass index scores, known as BMI “z-scores,” for estimating body fat percentages in kids (the z is specific to younger age groups and requires complicated calculations to get results). The criticism is that adolescent weight doesn’t scale with height, which can produce faulty data. Now, researchers claim to have discovered a new, more accurate formula for measuring body fat in kids aged 8–17.

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Lifetime Physical Activity Trends

By Ryan Halvorson | September 20, 2017 |

What does a 19-year-old have in common with a 60-year-old? Both achieve about the same amount of weekly activity, according to new research.
This information comes from a study of 12,529 individuals aged 6–85 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers’ primary goal was to analyze lifetime physical activity (PA) changes via accelerometer data—and their conclusions are disheartening. Here are some key points from the report:

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New Dangers Associated With Childhood Obesity

By Ryan Halvorson | August 17, 2017 |

Having obesity as a kid doesn’t just create immediate risks. According to a new study, it may also set the stage for significant health problems later on.
While being obese in childhood is known to predict adulthood obesity, the study’s purpose was to learn about other potential and undetermined weight-related health risks that might take root in the early years. Specifically, the researchers focused on how childhood obesity related to cardiovascular disease and abnormal blood sugar levels that result in disease.

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Exercise Mitigates Stress-Related Weight Gain in Kids

By Ryan Halvorson | June 13, 2017 |

School work, social situations, family challenges—young kids are faced with a great deal of pressure and perhaps lack the proper outlets to handle it. And as previous research has shown, stress and weight gain sometimes go hand in hand. A new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2017; 49 [3], 581–87) shows that exercise may help kids manage stress and prevent weight gain.

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Physical Literacy Is a Journey, Not a Destination

By Cedric X. Bryant, PhD | May 19, 2017 |

Steve Boyle is the CEO of the National Association of Physical Literacy (NAPL) and principal/founder of 2-4-1 Sports, a national organization that teaches children physical literacy using sports sampling through camps, clinics and school-based programming. Recently recognized by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program as one of eight model programs in the United States in the original Project Play report, 2-4-1 Sports embodies its motto, Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport

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Creative Ideas That Inspire

By Lisa Quigley | April 17, 2017 |

Pyrolates™, performed on the Megaformer™, is offered at Firebrand™ Sports in Portland, Oregon. The class utilizes the Lagree Fitness method, which is founded on the idea that a workout doesn't need to be long to be effective. This experience aims to combine the flexibility, alignment and therapeutic benefits of Pilates and yoga; the intensity and strength training found in CrossFit®; and the cardio of running or cycling. This complete, full–body workout is low impact and minimizes wear and tear on the body.

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Beach exercise

Sample Class: Kids’ Beach Boot Camp

By Pamela Light, MA | April 17, 2017 |

Kids don't usually line up to do squats and lunges, but they'll happily walk like a crab or run faster than a wave! Trick your littlest clients (aged 3—12) into getting a great workout with this quick–moving format packed with cleverly themed exercises.
Kids' Beach Boot Camp Details Goal: to engage kids and keep them moving while they have fun and feel successful Total time: 55—60 minutes Equipment needed:

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Movement Helps Kids’ Arteries

By Ryan Halvorson | April 12, 2017 |

It's been documented that active kids tend to perform better in school, are less likely to gain excess weight, develop stronger muscles and bones, and much more. A new report published in Pediatric Exercise Science (2017. doi:–0168) adds improved arterial health to the list of benefits.

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