Kids and fitness: moving for prizes

Source: think fit.tumblr.com

I've always had a particular hatred for prize-based programs for kids.  The reason is simple.  I hate allowing cheap, crap toys to cross my threshold, as they ultimately sit around the house unused, unappreciated, and adding to the endless clutter already there.

But this summer I saw the virtues of the very prizes I loathe.  My son signed up for the summer reading club, and he spent hours reading with gusto just so he could get a sticker, a flimsy ruler, and a lousy boomerang.  I've truly never seen him so motivated, and I still can't believe how much those uninspired toys transformed him into an enthusiastic reader.

In honor of Childhood Obesity Month, then, I wanted to share a new prize-based fitness program called GeoPalz, because it just might offer you a fantastic way to get your child out on the playground and away from the television. GeoPalz is a fitness tracking website for kids.  You can order a kid-friendly pedometer from the site, then have your child log on to track his activity throughout the day.  Each day he can log his steps, monitor his progress, and see how much more activity he needs to win a prize, like a soccer ball, football or Frisbee.

If GeoPalz can get your child excited about movement, it may well be worth a look.  According to the CDC, childhood obesity rates have tripled since 1980. 12.5% American children aged 2-19 are obese.  We have a responsibility to find fun ways to keep our children active and fit.  Could this be one of the tools in your toolbox?

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