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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pilates with Kids by Bridget Sandorford

Whether you want the kids in your pilates class to get out of the house or to improve focus in school, pilates has as many benefits for kids as it does adults. The trick, however, is getting kids interested in pilates. Here are three tips from Kim Carruthers, head of the studio Physical Perfection and founder of Pilates in the ‘Hood program for kids from underprivileged families.

1.Make it fun

Any school teacher will tell you that the hardest part of teaching is getting—and keeping—kids’ attention. With pilates, we can do this by making pilates fun and relatable. Try naming exercises after animals. In fact, let the kids name the exercises!

2.Everyone is different

Some kids will be able to touch their toes; others will not. Some will be able to stand one leg without wavering; others will not. Allow children to learn at their own pace and encourage them with praise and tips where appropriate. Let the children teach each other—this will build social skills as well as camaraderie and self-confidence.

3.Don’t make it about weight

Some children who are exposed to weight concerns from their parents, teachers, or other children can develop more tendencies to become disordered eaters in the future. Fitness and pilates shouldn’t be just about losing weight. Emphasize the other benefits of pilates: concentration, focus, posture, alignment, flexibility, and strength. Kids want to be strong like their favorite basketball player or flexible like their favorite dancer. Teach kids to use deep breathing and concentration techniques when stressed, such as before a test.

Bio: Aside from school and working part-time as an Assistant Chef, Bridget Sandorford is the resident Culinary Schools blogger where recently she’s been researching New Orleans culinary colleges as well as culinary colleges in Washington DC. Her passion for food and has followed her research into many different areas, such as fitness, organic foods, gardening, and cooking on a budget. She lives outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

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