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Raise the Bar©

Raise the Bar© - A Fitness & Wellness Camp for Youth with Autism & Special Needs

Each year the Raise the Bar Summer Camp just seems to get better and better… although this year truly has to go down as one of the best! We’re at the halfway point and each day that I observe Right Fit’s trainers in action, it is truly amazing what they accomplish with fun, play, patience and flexibility. There are “no can’ts” at Right Fit, only genuine acceptance, realistic expectations and amazing teamwork between trainers, campers and the daily fitness schedule. It would be unfair not to mention and thank all of our Right Fit families who support our efforts and beliefs that physical fitness is essential to achieve a strong healthy body and mind (not to mention you feel great after carefully designed 2.5 hour workouts). I invite you to enjoy the photos from the first four weeks of the Raise the Bar Summer Camp 2013. I can’t begin to find words to describe all the memorable moments. Here’s what I know for sure… it only takes one special moment to overcome obstacles like fear and confusion AND replace them with trust and confidence

Gross Motor Skills and Autism --Sandra Hubbard

Kids who have autism tend to have deficiencies in both fine and gross motor skill. Research has shown that speech, social, and motor skills are all interrelated, therefore working on gross motor skills can help to improve all of these areas. Repetition is a great way to work on these skills and consistency is a crucial part of it. So if you, the parent, are working with your child on specific skills make sure you communicate with others such as: teachers, therapists, and others who may be able to provide activities that can also help your child reach his/her goals. This will benefit your child by enabling him to better relate to his/her peers because of their improved motor ability.

‘Run the Ridge 5K’ benefits kids struggling with obesity --Suzanne Gray

Last month, Right Fit Sport Fitness Wellness organized the 9th annual Run the Ridge 5K run/walk at County Line Square in Burr Ridge. Every year, the beneficiaries have been nonprofit organizations chosen because of their presence and work with special needs populations. This year, the 5K committee chose ProActive Kids Foundation, devoted to helping youth and their families who struggle with obesity. ProActive Kids, along with Right Fit, strive to improve the overall health of youth through changes in both exercise and dietary habits. Youth obesity is such a prevalent issue in today’s society. With the increase in sedentary screen time activities, video games and television, youths rarely receive the amount of daily physical activity that their growing minds and bodies require. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 more than a third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Right Fit and PAK have partnered to provide these youth struggling with obesity opportunities to become physically active in a safe, friendly and fun environment.

How Can I Incorporate and Remind Myself to Exercise During the Day? --Brad LaRocque

ProActive Kids Class

It seems everybody is busy these days, but that is not an excuse to skip exercising. Exercise doesn’t have to be done all at once, it can be done in little bursts throughout the day. There is no set time or repetition amount, just as long as you get up more than a couple times a day to do an exercise. If you were to get up and do a few jumping jacks, you will be doing your body some good than if you were to just sit. By the end of the day these little bursts of exercising could add up to a really good workout. Whenever I have 2-5 minutes free I will do an exercise, whether its jumping jacks, planks, pushups, sit-ups, squats, or a quick 5 minute walk. There are many easy and quick exercises you can do in a short amount of time. To work your legs you can do a couple squats, standing up and sitting down in your chair. If you would like to work your abdomen, a Russian hold is a good exercise. Whether you’re sitting at work, home, or school, just pick your feet up off the ground for a couple seconds then put them back down for a couple repetitions. The best exercises are the ones where we are getting up out of our chairs and moving around.

Right Fit Provides Teacher In-Service at La Grange Elementary

Suzanne Gray, Eric Stone and Sheena Leedham of Right Fit Sport Fitness Wellness, recently gave a three hour in-service to twelve Physical Education and Health La Grange School Teachers on Proper Environment and Power of Play for Special Populations.

Suzanne covered the basics of Raise the Bar and its implementation in the classroom for children with and without special challenges. She elaborated on the D.I.M.E approach(design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation) when planning for any new fitness program. Sheena identified sensory processing hurdles many children with special needs face in the physical education school setting. Sheena also provided the teachers an array of strategies and solutions to meet individual and group sensory needs. Eric presented strength and conditioning exercises suitable for children and adults with special challenges and later showcased proper form and technique.

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