Why Kids Fitness Is More Important Than Ever | Martial Arts of West End
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Sam Kalinoski reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

This is such a great school! They honestly care about you as a person first, not just a member. They also honestly teach you the arts and how to apply it in real life situations. This school dosen’t “sell belts” like other schools in the area; trust me... I did my homework, and did the trials; this is the best school in the area, maybe even Richmond

Doug Beisch

I have been a student of martial arts for more than 20 years and am a certified instructor in more than one art. I took my 2 young children here 5 years ago, and was impressed by the teaching acumen and the firm but fair attitude of Master Hubley and his cadre of instructors. While it may not be the most “martial” of martial arts schools, the children learn discipline, manners, self-respect, leadership, physical fitness, teamwork and myriad values that aid them them in achieving higher plateaus in their journey of life. Master Hubley is a true master in his mannerisms with children and his martial arts acumen. I am proud to send my children here and will continue to do so because it has been such a positive influence on their lives (self confidence, fitness and overall well being). Not my primary concern, but it is also one of the most affordable and enriching after-school programs available.

Aleric Harris reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Martial Arts of West End has been in my life for 7 years, and has become a passion of mine, I haven't only grown as a person physically, but in other aspects like mentally, morally, and financially. From utilizing strong self defense to beautiful traditional forms and breaking your limits even when you think you can't, Martial Arts of West End is the place to be, with amazing instructors and the one and only Master Erik Hubley, you can accomplish anything. MAWE becomes your family always backing you up and being there for you, I don't know what I'd do without it, I love it!!!

Charli Barber reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Martial Arts of West End is fantastic! The instructors are top notch, the curriculum is fast paced & fun and everyone treats you like family. Such an amazing workout and great life lessons. My son and I love MAWE!

Todd Soren reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

I simply can't say enough about Martial Arts of West End! Each instructor is fantastic and unique and brings their own style and perspective to the common values of the teachings. The family culture is welcoming and inclusive and creates an atmosphere that is always positive, encouraging, and supportive. Going to class several times a week has become a special bonding opportunity for my daughter and me to which we truly look forward. Whatever your motives -- be it learning self-defense, physical fitness, or just a hobby to keep busy -- Martial Arts of West End will no doubt exceed your expectations and help you become the very best version of yourself in the process.

Shannon Carr reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Martial Arts of West End is a fantastic place to train martial arts. Classes are fun, the people are friendly, and the instructors take the time to tailor instruction to the individual. They work with people with any sort of obstacle or challenge to best meet their needs. Training at this school is rigorous and challenging, but it is also accessible to anyone, young or not-so-young, fit or ready to become fit, new or experienced.

Jeneva Hockett reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

I can't say enough about this place. My kids have been there a few years now and I couldn't ask for a better place for them. Master Hubley not only teaches martial arts, but true deep down core values that so many children lack today. He also maintains great relationships and communication with parents. He truly cares whole heartedly for each individual child and their families. For our family martial arts of west end is not just an after school program- they're also a PART of our family

Courtenay Fisher reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Exceptional, nurturing, empowering, confidence-building, mentally and physically challenging, and so much more. These are just a few of the words I could use to describe this wonderful school.

We were fortunate to become part of the Martial Arts of West End family a few years ago. I had studied martial arts many years earlier, but wanted to begin again and give my kids the benefit of martial arts training. Master Hubley and all the instructors immediately drew us in with their family-friendly program and their genuine interest in our success.

Bill Norris reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Master Hubley and his team run a wonderful program. They teach kids discipline, respect, self-confidence, and the power of setting/achieving your goals. If you are up for it, they will teach parents the same thing. Join a great program that you can do with your children. Its well worth it.

Kelli Cannon Brown reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Martial Arts of West End provides outstanding after school and summer camp care for kids!! We've been members of Master Hubley's school for almost 7 years for two kids and I can honestly say that we've never considered another option once we started! Outstanding in every aspect!

Smita Lal reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Me and my 5 years old son joined the martial arts seven months back with apprehension because this was our first time but I am happy to say that Master Hubley, Master Davis and all other instructors and members are very cooperating, helpful and patient with us as well as with all other students. I highly recommend this martial art class. This is a great place to learn taekwando.
Front desk staff is also cheerful and helpful. Lots of respect to Master Hubley! Thank you Sir.

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Why Kids Fitness Is More Important Than Ever

My 4 year old loves to make up “exercises” and goes full on trainer mode when she wants my husband and I to follow along (and then corrects us when we “do it wrong,” of course). While her wobbly backwards walk or the one-leg pirate dance may not produce the same results as P90X or Crossfit, I try to support her in doing this as much as possible. Encouraging her to be physically active both fosters creativity and builds the foundation for a love of fitness. And these days, kids’ fitness is more important than ever.
 
As an Adapted Physical Education teacher with an M.A. in Special (Adapted) Physical Education, I know firsthand how essential physical activity is to the overall well-being of a child. I also know how detrimental it can be when children are not given the opportunity, or are not encouraged, to get up and get moving in a way that excites them.
 
Every day I see students working towards a healthy life through play, sports, and fitness activities. I also see the other, much scarier side of what happens when students become too sedentary. Or when they are unable to access programs or role models to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. And it is not just in my schools and community. Childhood obesity is a major problem across the US, with 13.7 million children and adolescents (or 18.5% of those ages 2-19) considered obese.
Why Kids Fitness Matters
It is so important for kids to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the health-related benefits of physical activity. Kids need to see how fun it is to be active, and how much of an impact exercise can have on an individual.
 
How Physical Activity Impacts Us All
Regular physical activity is one of the best things we can promote to our children to aid in their overall development. Fitness-based exercises and games offer countless benefits, including:
 
Helps to build muscular strength
Develops endurance (muscular and cardiovascular)
Leads to improved cognition and academic performance
Supports functional flexibility for daily living
Increases confidence & self-esteem
Builds teamwork, leadership, and social skills
There is hardly any area of our kids’ lives it doesn’t touch!
 
How Early Exercise Impacts Future Health
Studies have found that not only does exercise by children provide health benefits early on, but that it can actually have a major impact in the lives of these same children well into adulthood. Researchers found that children who engaged in regular exercise were more likely to appreciate it later in life. What was even more interesting, however, was that early childhood exercise actually continued to have a positive impact on cognition, bone mass and density, and even how the body processed high-fat diets years down the road.
 
The result? Children who exercise regularly seem to be less likely to develop serious issues later in life. This includes Alzheimer’s, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. In other words, a person who spends their childhood being very physically active continues to reap the benefits as an adult, even if they are much less active later on.
 
What Is Keeping Kids So Sedentary Now?
When you look at the research, it is easy to see just how vital fitness is to overall development. What is not as easy, however, is ensuring kids are getting an adequate amount of physical activity to make that happen. It is recommended that school-age children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. But the truth is, many are not even coming close.
 
We have all heard the comparisons about how much less active kids are compared to when we were young. It is easy to see for myself how different my childhood was compared to that of my kids. Thanks in part to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and advances in technology that creep into our free time, and other issues affecting access, many kids just are not as active in their daily lives as they were 30 years ago.
 
To add insult to injury, schools are no longer the place to rely on for daily physical activity, as physical education programs are being reduced or cut entirely across the nation.
 
How to Encourage Physical Activity
Creating a love of being physically active is not something that requires a huge financial investment, a crammed family schedule, or even a lot of extra time and attention. One of the best ways to promote child development is through play. Play is the perfect vehicle for increasing overall health and physical fitness levels. Here are some of the best (and easiest to implement) ways to encourage physical activity in kids.
 
1. Encourage exploration of lots of different activities and sports.
Encouraging exploration does not mean you have to sign your child up for every sport in every season. You may dish out lots of money only to find out that they actually hate soccer, tennis, or taekwondo. In the past few months alone, my daughter has asked to play soccer, tennis, hockey, baseball, to join a kids fitness class, and to sign up for gymnastics. And she is only 4!
 
Saying yes to all of that would add an insane amount of pressure to both our schedule and our budget. It just isn’t reasonable. And family time as well as downtime needs to be protected too. Rather than sign her up for lots of different lessons, we focused on one official activity each season (like ice skating once per week for a session). But we also encouraged her interests by looking for easy opportunities to try the others.
 
For example, we purchased inexpensive tennis rackets and took family trips to the community tennis courts a few Saturdays, and built a DIY balance beam for the backyard. There are always ways to modify activities to make them age appropriate or more accessible for kids of all ages and ability levels. The important thing is to encourage their interests and to be their champion. And you just may find something they are truly passionate about!
 
2. Be active as a family and model behavior.
Exercising together as a family is not only fun, but it shows your kids that being physically active is a part of your family values. Look in your community for local family-friendly events like 5Ks (which typically have a kids fun run component as well), mommy and me yoga classes, or stroller skating at a local ice rink. These really are as fun as they sound and lets even the littlest family member get in on the fun!
 
Rather stay home? Take some family walks in the evening, stream workout videos or dance games on the TV to do together. Or break into a game of Twister. There is no right way to get fit, and plenty of ways to do it at home. Try inserting it somewhere into the regular family routine!
 
3. Find ways to make it fun.
If you’re stuck at home, add some gross motor toys to mix. Things like balance boards, river stones, jump ropes, or even just balloons to get them moving during play. You’d be amazed at how much movement balloons can bring out just by playing naturally! Other examples: while holding a stretch, try counting in a different language. Walking to the store? See if your kids can gallop or skip instead. Or search on Pinterest for some easy and free ideas to get them moving.
 
When my daughter wants to take the lead and makes up funny yoga poses or shows us how she “exercises” I try to play along, rather than trying to show her the “right way” to do something. It also helps build her confidence and self-esteem getting to take the lead. And, of course, music always helps to make anything fun as well!
 
4. Ensure they are prepared for physical education at school.
Whether they get daily gym or only have it once a week, the lessons learned in physical education classes are invaluable. They play an important role in both physical and social/emotional development. Help them maximize the limited class time by making sure they are dressed and prepared on their gym day. Sneakers and clothing that is easy to move in are essentials for full participation. After school, ask about what sports or skills they are practicing. See if they can teach you something they learned–kids love getting to be a teacher!
 
Possessing the knowledge and skills to live a healthy lifestyle, including being able to participate in fitness and other physical activities, provides children the ability to engage in meaningful exercise throughout their lives. It also teaches some great life lessons. It’s our job as parents to help get them moving, and it can definitely be fun along the way!