Recently, C-Fit sat down with Alex Kruz to learn a little bit more about this dynamic actor and trained fitness professional.
What do you enjoy most about your work with kids and fitness? Being a positive example as a person in attitude and action…the look of accomplishment, eagerness, and enthusiasm when kids are doing something they enjoy!
Why do you think that fitness is important? Proper fitness develops body wisdom which helps one know one’s body and mind better. When you know what you are capable of, you have an increased sense of health, confidence, and relaxation.
What do like most about C-Fit? I like the C-Fit approach to fitness for children. Small, easy to do segments which can be done at different times between lessons or classes. C-Fit encourages a foundation in full body fitness which serves as refreshing or energizing break in the children’s lessons as well as planting the seeds for a more active and healthy lifestyle.
As an adult, how do you stay motivated? Health is wealth, and I see a prepared and healthy body as a way to enjoy life more fully!
See more of Alex in his upcoming projects:
Exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function. More than Soduko or learning a new language, exercise stimulates your brain. Your brain actually grows new brain cells when you exercise!
In her fascinating New York Times article, How Exercise Could Lead to a Better Brain, Gretchen Reynolds explains one of the many possible ways that exercise improves the brain’s functioning. She writes:
Just how exercise remakes minds on a molecular level is not yet fully understood, but research suggests that exercise prompts increases in something called brain-derived neurotropic factor, or BDNF, a substance that strengthens cells and axons, fortifies the connections among neurons and sparks neurogenesis. Scientists can’t directly study similar effects in human brains, but they have found that after workouts, most people display higher BDNF levels in their bloodstreams.
In other words, working out somehow causes a chain reaction in the brain that preserves current brain cells and grows new brain cells. Not only does exercise improve your physical health, but your mental health as well.
However, there is a catch. Once the brain grows new brain cells, they need to attach themselves to an active network or they will die. How to do that? Learn something new. Think of these new brain cells as little seeds. Exercise plants them but they need to be fed with knowledge or else they’ll wither away. Sounds like a little exercise plus learning equals the perfect classroom activity!
Recently, C-Fit sat down with Sarah Herrington and learned all about her love of yoga and dedication to sharing her joy with children in the classroom.
What do you enjoy most about your work with kids and fitness? I love sharing the joy of health and wellness with kids so early in their lives. Kids are still experiencing the fun of play and are generally free in their bodies. They inspire me, and I hope they remember that fitness is fun as they grow older.
Why do you think that fitness important? For me fitness means feeling good and being well in mind, body and spirit. I think it’s great for kids to experience the way exercise can make not just their bodies, but also their minds and spirits, feel good. Exercise is a great way to clear your mind or deal with a difficult emotion.
What do like most about C-Fit? I love how C-Fit works so easily in the classroom, in 10-minute segments. I think this addresses a very real need in schools today. With cuts in budget, space and time, kids often lose out on recess and gym hours at a time when stress is mounting in our culture and kids face real health concerns.
I also love how C-Fit shows that fitness can fit right into your day. I’m convinced this will help children learn, too, as they get to clear their minds and lift their spirits with a C-Fit break. They’ll see that fitness is fun and can work into their lives. Hopefully that will plant seeds for a lifetime of joyful wellness!
As a child, were you fit? What did you like to do? I was very active as a kid. I grew up in the country, so spent a lot of time outdoors, riding bikes, playing softball and ice-skating. I became more of a bookworm in middle and high school and was not very interested in team sports. I only wish I’d known yoga then! I did not start practicing yoga until my 20s and right away I thought the benefits of a stronger and more relaxed mind and body could help kids.
Do you have any upcoming projects? My book OM Schooled, a teacher’s guide to teaching kids yoga in schools, was recently published. I hope this helps others in bringing yoga into our schools as a regular part of the curriculum! I am now working on a book about yoga, meditation and creativity for teen girls. Did I mention yoga also keeps me inspired?
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. Today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. What role does school play in this epidemic and how can it change to help students maintain good health?
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that we strengthen the schools as the heart of health. From their report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention:
Schools have a tradition of supporting the health and well-being of their students. Children and teens spend up to half of their waking hours in school and may consume more than half of their daily calories there.
This puts schools in a unique position to support students in getting optimum physical activity, eating healthily, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight – not only in the short term but over their lifetimes.
These are a few of their recommendations:
Children in grades K–12 have opportunities to get 60 minutes of physical activity every school day, including quality physical education.
Physical activity outside of physical education includes safe routes to walk to school, classroom physical activity breaks, active recesses, and after school physical activity programming.