WAT! Blog

The Official Blog for Walk Across Texas!

Source: American Council on Exercise

Nobody likes to be left out or picked last for a game or activity at school. It’s usually the athletic kids that get picked first and the overweight kids that get picked last for touch football, kickball, basketball, or other recreational activity. It’s tough out there in the playground world!

Studies have found that resistance training can be a successful form of exercise for overweight or obese kids, because body weight has a positive correlation with the amount of weight an untrained individual can lift. Therefore, the weight room is a place where an overweight child can feel successful because of his or her ability to lift heavier weights. This builds confidence in the child and positive reinforcement about fitness training.

Are you looking to encourage your child to begin strength training at home or in a gym or fitness class? Begin with basic strength-training movements using some simple machines with low resistances. Strength-training machines are good for beginners because it is easier to perform with good form and proper body mechanics. Once a child or teen begins to gain some strength using the machines, graduate them to using free weights to begin challenging their balance and coordination, and strengthening their stability muscles.

Here is a sample beginning resistance-training program using typical strength-training machines found in a gym…

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Source: Harvard University

Strength or resistance training challenges your muscles with a stronger-than-usual counterforce, such as pushing against a wall or lifting a dumbbell or pulling on a resistance band. Using progressively heavier weights or increasing resistance makes muscles stronger. This kind of exercise increases muscle mass, tones muscles, and strengthens bones. It also helps you maintain the strength you need for everyday activities — lifting groceries, climbing stairs, rising from a chair, or rushing for the bus.

The current national guidelines for physical activity recommend strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms) at least twice a week. One set — usually 8 to 12 repetitions of the same movement — per session is effective, though some evidence suggests that two to three sets may be better. Your muscles need at least 48 hours to recover between strength training sessions.

These seven tips can keep your strength training safe and effective.

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Source: American Heart Association

Packing the kids’ lunches for school means you know which nutritious foods they are eating – unless they trade or trash their lunch instead! Here are some budget-friendly, creative ideas to keep kids happy and healthy at lunchtime…

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Source: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

-Track and score diet and physical activity and receive tips for healthy changes.
-Get assessment on daily food intake and physical activity.
-Find out if you’re eating enough fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
-Calculate results on weight, body frame size, Body Mass Index (BMI), waist to hip ratio, nutrient recommendations and physical activity.

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