3 Reasons Your Kids Should do MovNat
We’re hosting our first ever kids’ class series in July (you can sign your kid(s) up HERE), and I thought this was a good time to talk about why I involve my kids in my MovNat practice. If you’re like me, you’ve started watching more and playing less since you’ve had kids. That doesn’t have to be the case, and you can change the way your kids view fitness as they grow up as well. Fitness is one of the best predictors of long term health, and our current data on kids health includes worrisome statistics. According to the CDC, only 21% of US kids get the recommended 60 minutes moderate exercise 5 days/week; and according to a recent study, US kids ranked 47th out of 50 countries for an aerobic fitness test. In addition, it has been shown that kids who are unfit are more likely to be unfit as adults. And kids with fit parents are more likely to be fit as adults. We can give our kids the chance to be fit for life and to enjoy healthier more comfortable lives, and I think MovNat is one of the best ways to start.
1. MovNat is FUN
This is often the hardest thing to convey when describing MovNat to a newcomer, but one of the first things people experience when they start. Kids especially think MovNat is fun right away--it's essentially a jungle gym, but one that can show up anywhere (at the park, at the campground, in your back yard...). MovNat gives us options to move in a variety of ways, which allows us to PLAY via movement. When was the last time you climbed a tree, swung from the monkey bars, or even just rolled on the ground with your kids? That stuff used to be fun for us, and we should remember that it's fun for kids too!
2. MovNat improves longevity of movement and play
As a kid, I played team sports. I played soccer, ice hockey, basketball and golf (at least for a season). I ran track. I did triathlons. In short, I participated in goal-oriented competitions that were fun, don't get me wrong, but weren't always PLAY. After a career-ending injury while playing soccer at UC Davis, I found rock climbing. Rock climbing was the first "organized" sport I had ever found that felt like playing. Exploring. Improving via trial-and-error. And learning from watching and imitating those around me.
From team sports, I gained super important social skills, and I learned a lot about myself. But I didn't necessarily learn to play and explore in a way that would last my entire lifetime. I learned to progressively improve, to work with others, and to push myself mentally and physically. But now I don't want to just improve,, I want to move freely through my world and PLAY. And I want to be able to do that wherever and whenever I get the chance, rather than only in an organized, planned way.
My solution to this is MovNat. It allows me to move through my world playing in much the way rock climbing gives me the ability to move on rock in a playful, exploratory way. I want to give my kids the understanding that playful movement can happen FOREVER. So we play together. And you know what? I think my kids will play with their kids, if and when they have them.
3. Family play time
Speaking of longevity of movement and play, MovNat is perfect for getting a family to play together in any situation, without the structure of sports, equipment, or competition. If you play soccer with your kids, or football, or golf, by all means keep doing that! But if, like me, you have transitioned away from playing sports toward watching your kids play sports, what are we teaching our kids? That, as adults, we don't play, but sit instead?!
Instead of (or in addition to) supporting your kids in their movement/sport endeavors, we can PLAY with our kids. Heck, my grandma can now play with my kids! And with that play comes invaluable lessons about relationships, bodies, learning, and the importance of play and movement in all of those realms. MovNat has brought my family closer in so many ways. We still sometimes cheer each other on at races and games, but we also play--A LOT--outside together. We rough-house and roll, and lift and carry and laugh. We especially laugh. And, in large part, we have MovNat to thank for that.