Animal Moves You Can Try

Each person is unique therefore each person will enjoy different kinds of physical activity. To make exercise more fun it is important to discover which kind of movement best suits each individual’s body and personality. Take animals for instance. Look at how they are built and how they move and play−learn from these animals and have some fun with your kids!

  • Cats – You learn a lot about stretching from cats. They slowly stretch their entire body which is important for animals and humans because it helps to keep muscles flexible. Stretching helps to warm up muscles before physical activity and also to cool down muscles following physical activity. Remember to practice safe stretching with proper technique and be sure to hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Monkeys – Climbing and swinging is a monkey’s favourite thing to do. Many people may not think monkeys are strong but picture how easily they swing from branch to branch. It’s the same principle as an activity like chin-ups or pull-ups where you are using your arms and then hanging for as long as you can. These activities are great for increasing muscle in the upper body.
  • Bears – Known for their slow and steady muscular endurance and powerful legs, bears are extremely muscular animals. For strong, powerful muscles like bears use light hand-held free weights or try activities such as rock-climbing or hiking.
  • Otters – If you and your kids enjoy swimming and playing in water you can enjoy activities like diving, swimming on your back and rolling over, just like an otter. Otters stay in great physical shape by swimming so much so try activities such as canoeing, water slides, or swimming at the beach or backyard pool, all of these activities will keep you active and healthy.
  • Dolphins –Being in groups and being social is a dolphins favourite thing. Dolphin types really like team sports or simply getting together with a group of friends to play a game like tag or shooting a few hoops. Exercising in groups can be a lot of fun, and dolphins show us how groups can enjoy themselves and get a lot of exercise together.

If you observe animals you will understand why and how being physically active is natural. Find ways to move that suit you and your children’s body and personality−you will all be fit and have fun together!

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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