The Incredible Years® Blog


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Promoting Healthy Activity in Kids ~ Incredible Adventures of Wally: Sports Edition (Part 1)

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Wally, like many young children, loves to play outdoors. In this series about promoting healthy activity in kids, we’ll follow Wally as he tries out for different sports, and also consider the benefits of exercise and outdoor play for children.

You may remember when Wally and the whole puppet gang decided to start exercising back in October (if not, refresh your memory by clicking here!).  We shared an article that showed how the Incredible Years programs had been linked to healthier outcomes and lower rates of obesity. You can read that article here. 

In Part 1 of this series, let’s consider some of the benefits of exercise, sports, and outdoor play for children. With summer on it’s way, this is a great time for families to start planning play time outside all together! Spending time playing together outside fosters family bonding and helps children see how physical activity can be fun. Especially for younger children, try not to impose rules but instead allow them to be child-directed and explore different sports and games.

You can bring a variety of options to the park and try out some different games like tag, kicking the ball around, or playing catch.  This sort of play promotes hand-eye coordination and motor skills, and it can also be a wonderful way to foster your child’s imagination and creativity, allowing him/her to explore new things. Another benefit is helping children see how exercise can come in many different forms and be enjoyable. It promotes a healthy, active lifestyle, and gives children a way to release energy!

Check back next week – Wally will continue making the rounds of Seattle sports teams, trying to choose which one is right for him!

~The Incredible Years Team

 


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Dina Dinosaur’s Exercise Blog Series (#3)

It’s been a little while since we checked in with Dina and Wally about how their fitness routine is going! You may remember last time, Dina had to take a break so she became Wally’s fitness instructor. By the end of the work out, they decided it was time to get the rest of their friends in on the action!

Exercising with friends is a great motivator and a fun way to spend time with friends. In case you missed it last time, we shared an article showing how early intervention promoting effective parenting led to meaningful differences in obesity in preadolescence – check it out here!

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Felicity: Hey Dina! I want to be on the exercise team too. I can be just as strong as you and Wally!  I’m testing out the stationery bike first – this is fun!

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Molly: I want to join too! I ride my out door bike for good exercise. One of Dina’s rules is to wear a helmet and be safe. I can’t fly like Dina, but I’m pretty awesome on my bike!

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Wally: Okay – I’ve been at this for 10 minutes already today – Have I lost any weight yet?

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Dina: Wally, it doesn’t happen with just one day of exercising! You have to keep at it, one day at a time, to get results. Stay calm – you are getting stronger!

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Wally: Look at us – we are a team working together! We are going to be strong enough to help lots of others learn how to be friendly, solve problems, stay healthy, and follow rules!

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Dina: Wally, you look a bit worn out! That’s okay – it takes work. We can do it!

We hope you have enjoyed our fitness series! Maybe Dina and Wally will chime in again in a few months to let us know more about their progress. As always, feel free to share this post with your friends and colleagues, and of course any parents, children, or teachers in your groups! Don’t forget, we are always looking for guest bloggers to share their experiences with the Incredible Years® program! If you are interested, e-mail: alysonb@incredibleyears.com

Have a good weekend!

~Dina, Wally, and The Incredible Years Team


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Dina Dinosaur’s Exercise Blog Series (#2)

Hello friends!

Dina needed a little rest from her fitness regimen so she has enlisted her friend Wally to help her out this week!

Before we get started, let’s take a more serious moment to highlight a study (published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) which relates to this fitness series. The study examined youth at high risk for obesity based on income, minority status, and child behavior problems. Results showed that early intervention promoting effective parenting led to meaningful differences in obesity in preadolescence. Read the article here!

Back to Dina and her friends…

Dina is very tired and sore from all of the exercising she did last week, so she has decided to take today off and instead play “personal trainer” for Wally.

Wally: Hey, Dina, I think I need some help! My mom read some research and she says if I want to be healthy, I should exercise and eat my fruits and vegetables. So I think to start, I will work on lifting some weights.

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I’m not sure if I am doing this right. I think I’ll switch to the treadmill and work on my leg muscles!

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Okay, now I think I have a problem. I don’t think I am big enough to do this! Yikes… CAN I do this?!

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I am definitely not tall enough for the treadmill!

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Dina is telling me to hang on and keep trying, because she needs an exercise buddy. I guess I’ll try another solution!

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Finally I have found a machine that I think will work for me – rowing! I’m learning there are many different ways to exercise, and the important thing is finding what works for you and your body.

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Whew. Rowing is work too! Even though I found something that works for me, Dina says it will still take work and persistence. I’ll do a few more, and next week I’ll invite all of our other friends to join too!

 

Thanks for tuning in!

~Dina, Wally, and the Incredible Years team


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Dina Dinosaur’s Exercise Blog Series (#1)

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Hello Everyone!

We are excited to announce a new blog series! Dina Dinosaur and her friends are going to share with us about the importance of staying fit and active.

Dina has recently decided to begin a fitness routine. We know that keeping active promotes good health and is good for your body – but there’s one problem – Dina isn’t used to exercising! She is going to have to navigate some confusing equipment, and she’ll probably need a little help and motivation from her friends.

Follow below to see how Dina’s first foray into the world of fitness unfolds. You can also “comment” to share your own fitness tips and stories! (PS. If you are running IY groups, parents and kids might particularly enjoy this, we encourage you to share it with them!)

DAY #1

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Dina: “I am thinking about an exercise program to help build stronger muscles. I need all of my strength to fly to many different countries! There is a lot of work that needs to be done to help people be friendly and solve problems all around the world – so this exercise routine is important! However, as I look at this exercise machine, I think it looks pretty difficult and a bit confusing. Where should I start? My arms? My wings? My tail???”

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Okay, okay – I know. Just take it one step at a time! I’ll start with my arms first. Wow, this is hard… but it will be worth it if I can fly to more countries and talk to more and more children!
Whew, how many reps did they say I should do of these?!

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I think I am starting to notice my muscles getting stronger! But they are also getting really sore! That’s okay – I am persisting, concentrating…thinking positive thoughts and staying calm! Just a few more and I’ll be done for the day. I hope I feel okay tomorrow!

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Geesh! I need a rest – I’m exhausted! And it’s only Day One! Next time I will get my friends to help me out – Being active with your friends is a lot more fun than doing this all on your own. We can encourage each other and hold one another accountable. I’m thinking maybe there should be more than one dinosaur to get around the world to help people with their problem solving!!