Seven healthy gift ideas for children

Healthy Gift Ideas for Kids

It seems harder and harder sometimes to get young children off their backsides in front of the computer, video game system or big-screen TV.
Get the child on your Christmas list this month moving with a fun gift that will keep them occupied and moving their muscles at the same time.
Seven healthy gift ideas for children are:
1. Jump rope – A fun, healthy way to get exercise. Tell them to try to jump rope for 5-10 minutes straight, do double jumps or tandem jumps.
2. Ping pong table – Have hours of fun especially during winter months in cold climates with this vintage indoor recreation staple.
3. Sports equipment – Whether it’s a new basketball, baseball or football, or even putting up a basketball hoop in your driveway, get the kids moving and learning through sports.
4. Sled – If you live in a colder climate, get the kids a sled and have great afternoons going up and down the slopes. They’ll burn off lots of calories without even realizing it.
5. Nintendo Wii Fitness – One video game system that does get you moving is the Wii Fitness system. This is a fun way to get kids interested in fitness.
6. Twister — This classic game is sure to entertain the kids and get them moving — and laughing. Buy the classic game or new DVD version.
7. Light free weights — For young children who are playing sports in the pre-teen years, such as 9-12, it’s OK to have them start doing some muscle toning and flexibility work.
Many people ask, “When is it OK for kids to start lifting weights?” There’s no exact answer, but generally for pre-teen kids the focus should be on general muscle toning. If free weights are lifted, they should easily be able to do three sets of 10 with a certain weight. Pre-teen years are not the time to start lifting heavy weights, or making it a habit of lifting to failure and over-stressing joints.
Get your pre-teen a light pair of dumbbells, a bar and weight bench and start teaching them some basic lifts.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at