Your Guide to Active After School Programs

Physical activity and childhood health. 

Childhood physical activity options and its effect on health

It’s no news flash that physical activity is an important part of childhood health. Exercise helps lower the instances of heart disease, improve academic performance, regulate mood and emotions, and manage weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity for kids every day. With many elementary schools offering physical education classes only a few times a week, the responsibility falls to parents to ensure that our kids stay active! If an hour a day sounds like a lot, consider an active after-school program to infuse some fitness into your child’s day.  Check out some of these local resources for healthy after-school fun.
Martial Arts
Whether your child chooses Tae Kwon Do, Karate, or other martial arts, many after-school programs offer a fitness component and help with homework and some even pick up from school. Martial arts are often praised for its positive effect on school performance as well, because it builds intrinsic reward systems and relies on positive reinforcement. Check out Gallop’s Karate and Tae Kwon Do, ARTS After School(karate lessons provided by Logans Martial Arts Academy), and Martial Arts Fitness Academy, all of which have after-school pick-up.
Gymnastics can be the perfect sport for kids with lots of energy to burn off and a love for jumping and bouncing! By channeling that energy into a sport that focuses on precision and balance, kids can also learn strategies for focusing energy in school and other work. International Gold Gymnasticsoffers an after-school program with pick-up services.
CHP Campus Champions
CHP Champions is a student fitness program offered to 3rd through 8th grade students enrolled in Leon County schools. It is free of charge and available after school. CHP Champions gets students moving, experience the benefits of regular exercise, and develop healthy lifestyle habits. Since this program takes place on-campus, students are picked up after school by their parents instead of being transported to another location. You can learn more about Campus Champions here.
If 60 minutes of activity for kids sounds like a lot, consider that kids from age 8 to 18 spend on average seven hours a day watching TV, using computers, playing video games, and being otherwise sedentary. Whether you seek an active after-school option for your children or drive them to sports practice in the evenings, the time you dedicate to their physical fitness is time well spent!

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