Posts Tagged ‘strengthen core muscles’

Ten percent of 2- to 5-year-olds and 20 percent of 6- to 11-year-olds qualify as obese, according to 2008 data on U.S. children from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Being aware of exercise guidelines for children can help you provide your child with the proper amount of physical activity to maintain a healthy weight, thereby preventing excess weight and multiple other potential health problems.

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All across the country, parents call their local gymnastics club saying, “I don’t really want my kid to be a world famous gymnast, but it would be great if they could do a somersault or cartwheel; I think it would be really fun and good for them.”  My sister Betsy recently enrolled her two kids, Otto who is 5-years-old and Wade who is 3-years-old, into gymnastics and I was able to join the class. Not only was I jealous the kids were able to jump into a big pit of foam, I learned that gymnastics is one of the most comprehensive “lifestyle exercise programs” available to children, incorporating strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power and discipline.

Below are some fun facts I learned about the benefits of gymnastics and kids:

  1. Studies show that children learn cognitive skills more effectively in an environment that includes the body as well as the mind.
  2. It has been found in studies to increases self-esteem.
  3. Many studies have reported the benefits of moderate impact activities, such as gymnastics, have on the development of bone density and the prevention of osteoporosis. Plyometric exercises (also known as jump training) like tumbling and vaulting have been determined by the American College of Sports Medicine to be a safe, beneficial and fun activity for children.
  4. Healthy activities like gymnastics keep our kids off the couch and engaged in a healthy lifestyle.
  5. In addition to all of the above, gymnastics provides children with an opportunity to meet with friends, make new friends, and have fun!
  6. Fun Fact — The word gymnastics comes from the Greek word “gymon” which means naked. Ancient Greeks used to perform gymnastics in the nude.

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Once again we find our famous photographer Marcy Maloy in the news.  Check out this great feature on her from our very own San Francisco Chronicle!

Marcy Malloy- Photo Curtosy of San Francisco Chronicle

Marcy Maloy - Photo Courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

For her 60th birthday last fall, San Francisco photographer Marcy Maloy donned fishnet stockings and climbed a ladder that led to a waiting trapeze bar. About 100 supporters – including her 89-year-old mother, Barbara – stood below, craning their necks upward to see whether Maloy would complete a full flip, a stunt she’d practiced for three months.

“I told myself when I get older I’m not going to be one of those people who sits on the sidelines,” Maloy says. “I want to be active, in the game.”

Thanks to a vigorous exercise regimen and playful nature, Maloy is now in one of the biggest games around: She’s a competitor on CBS’ “Amazing Race,” which premiered Sunday. Along with her boyfriend, Ron Shalita, 59, the pair represents the globe-trotting show’s oldest competitors.

“By far,” Maloy said.

Before the show was taped, she did something every day to get in shape, because “I didn’t want to embarrass myself among all these young kids.” Maloy lives near Golden Gate Park, but she’s not much of a runner, so the hard-core Rocky Balboa regimen was nixed early on.

Instead, she bought a balance beam and placed it in the middle of her studio, often walking back and forth while discussing business with her assistant. The increased balance helped strengthen her core muscles, which helped during her twice-a-week kung fu classes. She also took archery lessons in Golden Gate Park and started rock climbing at Planet Granite in Crissy Field.

Marcy Malloy Balances!- Curtosy of SF Chronicle

Marcy Maloy Balances! - Courtesy of SF Chronicle

Although she loathed running the park’s trails, Maloy speed-walked up to an hour a day to increase endurance while listening to the theme songs from “Indiana Jones” and “Wonder Woman” for inspiration. Soon she was able to complete 20 men’s-style push-ups every morning after stretching and sit-ups. After each workout with her trainer, Alyona Aikina, she hugged herself and repeated the positive mantra, “I’m so proud of myself!”

“One motivation can be fear,” Maloy said. “As you get older, you won’t be able to continue to have fun if you get too achy and stiff. And if you get too stiff your fun factor goes down, so you have to keep at it.”

During her time on “Amazing Race” – Maloy could not divulge any details on locations or how she and partner Shalita finished – she continued a morning stretching routine but was usually wiped out each night by the vigorous activities the show demands.

“I didn’t even know about the show until Ron asked me to do it,” Maloy said. “It was our third date, and he said, ‘Hey, you wanna apply for this show?’ ”

Once the couple learned they were semifinalists for a slot, Maloy said, they worked out three times a week.

For her birthday trapeze act, Maloy said she was nervous she’d bail into the net after all the training and let down her audience. But as she swung through the air, she flipped, reached forward, and caught the hands of her fellow trapeze artist.

She heard the roars of approval below.

“They called for an encore,” Maloy said. “So I gave them a couple more.”

This article has been corrected since it appeared in print editions.

This article appeared on page E – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Article By: Justin Berton, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, September 28, 2009

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