Will Strength Training Stunt Kids’ Growth?

There are several misconceptions about youth resistance training. For years it was thought that kids were too young for strength training because it would stunt their growth or cause serious injury.

This may be true with extreme heavy resistance training or long bouts of weight bearing labor on young kids, but we are not creating soldiers and this is not the type of resistance training being practiced by coaches and PE teachers today!

Today’s youth resistance training programs include more games, bodyweight exercises, and fun drills! It’s not just a bench and pull up bar. Most importantly, we use exercises that integrate several muscle groups being worked at once! For example, kids may perform a squat while raising their arms overhead to strengthen legs, back, arms, and core! This also requires coordination!

Strength training is proven to be highly beneficial for both sedentary and active kids with appropriate resistance training programs and qualified professionals instructing.

There are Physical and Psychological Benefits!

Physical Benefits Include:

  • Improve bone density (avoid osteoporosis)
  • Improve body composition (avoid becoming overweight or obese)
  • Decrease insulin sensitivity (avoid diabetes)
  • Improve muscular strength and posture
  • Improve coordination

Psychological Benefits Include:

  • Embracing a healthy lifestyle
  • Adopting healthy behaviors
  • Building confidence
  • Learning problem solving kills
  • Embracing challenges
  • Developing body awareness


There are some key things to remember when getting kids started in a resistance-training program:

1.     Be sure they have good instruction and are being supervised by a professional. After school programs, Youth Centers, PE, and Youth Fitness Classes are great places to start.

2.     Train 2-3 times per week on nonconsecutive days.

3.     Vary the exercises and activities for kids so they aren’t performing the same type of fitness program for months at a time.  TIP: Kids that play multiple sports or try different activities become better athletes and therefore will excel in whatever sport they choose!

4.     Usually kids ready for sports around 7 or 8 years of age, can participate in using some light free-weights, sport cords, medicine balls, and body weight exercises.

5.     There is no minimum age required but kids should be mature enough to follow instructions and understand the benefits of what they are doing.

Are you ready to get these kids started today?

Try this quick workout!

Here is a program that we created for kids that requires no equipment!

It’s a great way to begin!


Exercise                      Reps/  Set #               Reps/  Set #               Reps/  Set #

Push ups                    8/        1                        10/     2                           8/      3

Squats                        10/     1                          15/    2                         10/     3

Plank                          20 sec/1                     40sec/ 2                      30sec/ 3

Wall Sit                       20 sec/1                     40sec/ 2                      30sec/3

Calf Raises                  15/     1                      20/     2                      15/     3

*Swimmers                  20 sec/1                     40sec/2                      30sec/ 3

*Swimmers: lie on your stomach and lift your arms and legs off the floor as high as possible, then pretend to swim by moving your arms and legs up and down without letting them rest on the floor.


Have fun!



Make 2014 A FIT YEAR With 4 Simple Star Goals!
Don’t take the typical approach of most people! 

Making a long list of 20 goals, getting too overwhelmed and then giving up!

Start 2014 by following these simple 4 Star Goals and it will make a huge difference in you and your child’s health throughout the year!






STAR Goal #1

Eat 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day

What does a total of 5 servings look like?

3 servings of vegetables + 2 servings of fruit = 5

2 servings of vegetables + 3 servings of fruit = 5

Or any combination that equals 5!

A quick cheat sheet to measure your serving sizes!


1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist)

1/2 cup of other vegetables

1/2 cup of vegetable juice.


1 medium fruit (medium is defined as the size of a baseball)

1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit

1/2 cup juice


STAR Goal #2

Limit Screen Time to 2 Hours per day

 What is screen time?

Screen time is when you are watching TV, using the computer, phone, or other touch screen devices for games or social media outside of school or homework. Our youth today spends an average of 7 hours of screen time a day!

Limit screen time to 2 hours OR cut down on screen time by at least 1 hour and incorporate physical activity, music, reading, or arts and crafts in it’s place!


STAR Goal #3 

Exercise for 60 minutes a day

60 Minutes a day you must play and be active! 

This goes for parents and kids! Remember that 60 minutes does not have to be done all at once, it can be done throughout the day and equal 60 minutes by bedtime!

Some examples of daily activity:

Day 1: 30 min bike ride + 15 min Active Wii Game + 15 min walk after dinner = 60

Day 2: 20 min flag football game + 20 minute KFIT Health DVD + 20 baseball pass = 60

Day 3: 40 min hike with family + 10 min bike ride after school + 10 min swim = 60

Be sure to keep track and hit a goal of 60 minutes everyday!


STAR Goal #4

Consume Zero Sugary Drinks 

(water and low fat milk instead)

Why are sugary drinks bad?

Sugary drinks are considered one of the leading causes of weight gain for kids and adults these days! We are drinking our calories and storing that sugar as fat! If you set one goal this year, it should be to eliminate SODA from your home and your diet altogether! Avoid bottled drinks with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving! Most soda has about 32 grams per serving and other drinks like Gatorade are almost the same around 20grams per serving. WATCH OUT!!


  • Natural fruit juices should be not be a daily habit and limited to 1 serving size of 8oz when consumed. Low fat milk is a much better choice because it has protein, fat, and vitamins kids need.

  • Water is always your best option for continuous hydration throughout the day! Adding lemon, lime or orange slices will make it extra fun and delicious!


Be sure to improve your fluid intake but cut down on sugary drinks and eventually you can eliminate them altogether!


KFIT Health, LLC
Dr. Pat and Anna


Active Kids Build Strong Bones

I just loved the “GOT MILK” campaign that caught so much attention for the milk industry and is still pretty popular today. It reminds me of my grandparents diary farm in Hindsale, MA where I spent my childhood summers drinking milk in the diary before it was shipped off to the big companies for resale. I can remember how fresh and cold it was as my Aunt Ginny scooped it out with a tin cup from the churning barrel that cleans it.


But drinking fresh milk wasn’t all I did at the farm. We used to pick the eggs out of the chicken coop, pick corn from the fields, bail hay onto the wagons, shovel cow manure in the barn, ride on the tracker, go crawfishing in the river! Man it was fun. Didn’t feel like work back then but now that I think of it, my grandparents were getting some great free labor!


In any case, all that time I wasn’t thinking about how good it was for my health, what a strong foundation I was building for my body or how my healthy habits were already being set for the rest of my life. It felt great to be involved in the activities of the farm life, to be exhausted at the end of the day, and feel excited for what would come tomorrow.

I pray that I’ll be blessed with kids someday and can give them an equally fun and active childhood experience. One where activity becomes a staple of life, not something practiced on occasion.

Not only is living an active lifestyle critical for developing lifelong habits from an early age, it helps to develop strong bones!

As we age we begin to lose bone mineral density because we don’t naturally produce as much calcium and it’s taken from our bones. Luckily, our kids don’t have that problem; they are producing plenty of calcium at a young age to build solid healthy bones!

However, Calcium is not the only factor that will determine bone mineral density.  Weight bearing activities are also a major contributor to healthy strong bones.

Kids who are sedentary or inactive are at risk of losing bone mineral density and not developing adequate bone strength.  This can lead to early deformation of the skeleton such as kyphosis (forward slouching of the upper back), or risk of broken bones including the spine. Without a solid bone structure, kids are less likely to develop a strong and balance muscular structure and will be even more likely to stay inactive and sedentary throughout their lives.

Weight bearing activities include anything that challenges us to fight the force of gravity below us:

Walking…..Running….Skipping….Jumping…..Hopping…..Hiking….Weight lifting

The activities that give us no weight bearing exercise are things like playing on the computer, video games, reading, watching TV, or sleeping.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 exercises a day to encourage weight-bearing exercises for kids as well as adults.  Weight bearing exercises will help kids build strong healthy bones as well as strength, coordination, and aerobic conditioning! This is a win-win way of creating a generation of stronger and healthier kids.

Exercise Descriptions

  1. Hop Scotch: Start with feet shoulder width apart.  Alternate by jumping off both feet simultaneously and landing on only 1 foot and then back to landing on two feet!
  2. Jumping Jacks: Start with feet together and arms to your sides, jump off the ground to bring your feet shoulder width apart and hands above your head, then jump again to bring yourself back to the starting position. Repeat.
  3. Push-ups: Hands underneath your shoulders and feet together. Keep your body straight hovering the ground and slowly lower towards the floor and come back up!


Pediatricians recommend water or low fat milk for kids versus soda’s and sugary sweetened drinks because it’s certainly better for the bones. Sugars and other elements in soda actually steal calcium from bones. Train kids early to avoid these habits. 


Anna Renderer

Kids Driving You Nuts? Give them a Home School Fit Test!


It may be a rainy day outside, a day off of school, or whatever the case may be, but the kids are at home driving you nuts! You may be trying to figure out a few ways to help the kids get some of that energy out. Here are a few fun fitness tests you can do with the kids to put their energy to good use!


1. Couch Sit and Jump: Sit slowly onto the couch and then jump up off your feet, land softly and repeat for 1 minute.

# of Jumps ________________

2. Kitchen Sock Knee Tucks: Wear slippery socks in the kitchen and while your in a push up position, slide your feet up under your body and back out straight for 30 seconds.

# of Knee Tucks ________________

3. Hallway or Outdoor shuttle run: pick a short distance and quickly sprint from one end to the other as fast as you can for 1 minute.

# of Laps _______________

4. Doorway Jumps: Place a mat or small rug in the middle of the doorway. The goal here is to jump from one side of the doorway to the other without touching the mat or small rug that is placed in the middle. Start by standing on your left foot and jump across the doorway landing on your right leg and repeat on the other leg side. Continue jumping side to side for 30 seconds.

# of Jumps ________________

5. Table or Couch Circle Run: Clear an area around your kitchen table or couch; whichever is safest to run around. Try and run as many circles clockwise around the table or couch for 30 seconds and repeat going counterclockwise. Try and match your number!

# of Circles Left ________________ # of Circles Right ________________

6. Remote Control Balance Touches: Holding onto a remote control, balance on your left leg only and try to touch the remote to the floor without using your right leg for help. Repeat on the left leg for 30 seconds and switch to the right. See how many touches you can get on each leg without help from the other leg!

# Touches on Left Leg ________________ # Touches on Right Leg _______________

7. Hot Steps: You only need one step in your house for this one. Standing at the bottom of that step, you quickly and safely step up and down off the step as quickly as you can.  Count to see how many times you can go up and down that one step in 30 seconds.

# Steps ________________

Have fun and remember to keep your scores and test again the next rainy day chance you get!

Anna Renderer, MS

KFIT Health, LLC

BRING ON THE BASICS: For Kids that Don’t Like Team Sports!

Running around the yard or playing kickball with friends is the essence of what it means to be a kid. They are gaining aerobic fitness, strength, social skills and much more just by PLAYING!

Getting kids on the right path towards a long healthy lifestyle all starts with basic fundamental movement skills (FMS) that are learned by participating in basically any activity that teaches body awareness, balance and coordination such as catching, kicking, jumping, balancing, throwing, etc. The easiest way to help kids improve these skills is to simply PLAY. A game of tag, Simon says, kickball, or 4-square is a great way to gain basic FMS.

What about the kids that don’t naturally feel motivated or confident to participate in school yard games or afterschool sports? It’s important to build their confidence and skills with similar movements that are simple and fun that can be done at home or with a friend afterschool.

Check out these great beginner moves/games to develop aerobic fitness, strength, balance and coordination.

Pick 4-5 of these moves per day (starting with 1-2 is a great way to begin).

Set small goals by trying to complete 1 set of each move and then progressing to the full recommendations.

FUNdamental Exercises!

1. Skipping: Perform in place or moving. In place skip for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Try and repeat this 5-10 times (sets). Skipping improves coordination, rhythm, and strength.

2. Single Legged Hops: Perform in place or moving. In place hop for 15 seconds on each leg and then rest for 30 seconds. Try and repeat this 5-10 times.  It’s also fun to use a line and hop down the line and back for 30 seconds to add variety of movement. Try hopping backwards for an added challenge!

3. Jumping Jacks: Perform in place for 10 reps and then rest for 30 seconds. Add 5 reps to your number (15,20, 25, 30) and rest for 30 seconds in between each set. Try to reach 30 reps in a row for your last set.

4. Hop Scotch: Use chalk to draw the ladder and number each step of the ladder 1-10. Every time they complete the ladder they get 1 point and their goal is 10! If performing in place: Hop Scotch for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds.  Try and repeat this 5-10 times.

5. Card Catch: Use a deck of playing cards for this.  Throw up one card at a time and see if they can catch it before it hits the ground. This is a great way to interact with kids and encourage them one on one. It’s also fun to play with multiple kids who can cheer each other on.  If playing with more than 1 kid, give them each 5 tries and have them alternate turns. Go through the entire deck as many times as desired!

6. Tennis Ball Bounce Pass: Perform with a partner or against a wall. With a partner, bounce the tennis ball between you and your partner so they can catch it. Alternate bounce passes back and forth. To progress, try and catch it with one hand versus two. To set an added challenge, set up goals about 10 feet wide and try to score with a bounce pass through your partners goal.

7. Jump Rope: Perform in place or moving. Jump rope for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Add an extra 10 seconds to your next set (40, 50, 60) and rest for 30 seconds only between each set. Try and get to 60 seconds on your last set.

Remember that the more you move, you more you improve! Now GET READY, GET SET & GET FIT!

Anna Renderer, MS

KFIT Health, LLC


It can be expensive to keep kids active all summer long with camps and recreational activities. Here is a fun way to get kids active around the house and it doesn’t cost $$! You can even change the obstacles and keep score all summer long.


Set up a relay or obstacle course around the house, yard, or apartment. Set a goal, designate a prize, and have fun!

Pick at least 5 different stations for the obstacle course.

Ideas of stations include:

1. Couch Sit and Jump: Sit slowly onto the couch and then jump up off your feet, land softly and repeat 20 times

2. Kitchen Sock Running Man: Wear slippery socks in the kitchen and while your in a push up position, slide your feet up, down and all around for 30 seconds.

3. Hallway or Outdoor shuttle run: pick a short distance and quickly sprint from one end to the other 10 times as fast as you can!

These are just a few ideas and we would love to hear others! Now GET READY, GET SET & GET FIT this summer!

The Most Critical Time to Move is Young!

Central Nervous System and Motor Development

The human body is more adaptable to learning and retaining motor skills at a young age. From the time you are a baby, the central nervous system is developing in combination with your motor development. There is a natural process that occurs to begin walking, eating, and talking but these skills are also better learned through practice, not neglect.

Kids today are neglecting the next critical time in their central nervous system and motor development when they should be moving and discovering their ability to run, catch, throw, balance, and support their own body weight in movement. They are instead watching TV, playing video games or browsing the Internet.

If kids continue to practice developing these motor skills while still young, they will more likely lean towards being more fit and functional human beings instead of sedentary and obese.  When we do things as kids we are more likely to remember and practice those skills, as we grow older.

Simply being active and playing around outside with friends will improve a child’s balance, coordination and overall movement.  Trying more challenging exercises will help them become even more functional and strong.

Encourage activity for every child and set them on a path to better health and physical development.


Activities for Home & Outside!

Fitness and Fun with Anna

Are you interested in sports, after school activities, or active games like the Wii? It’s good to stay active in any way you like! You don’t have to be an athlete or have your parents bring you to after school activities just to stay fit. There are so many ways to be active and have fun to stay healthy.

For instance:

  1. Stay active with an exercise DVD (like Jumpstart Your Health!)
  2. Ride scooters with a friend
  3. Try yoga, hula hoop or jumping rope
  4. Do jumping jacks, push-ups or sit-ups
  5. Play an active dance or sports video game that gets you moving

When you sit in front of the TV everyday after school there is a bigger chance that you will become overweight and unhealthy. Your body needs to be active at least 60 minutes everyday!!!! So get started today!