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Les Mills on a mission to get young people moving
While most in this industry will be aware of the compelling reasons as to why children should be active, many young people are failing to achieve the recommended level of physical activity.
To combat these declining levels of physical activity in children and youth, Les Mills, creator of world-leading adult group fitness programs, has launched the Born to Move initiative.
Born to Move consists of a movement-based programs for five age groups, starting with two to three-year-olds through to adolescents. Classes for the younger children build foundation fitness skills through imagination, exploration and movement set to specially created music while classes for youth use top 40 hits and focus on building dance, yoga, martial arts and athletic skills.
Born to Move is a result of five years' research, development and testing and is supported by a comprehensive teacher training system. Each class is carefully crafted to meet the unique developmental needs of that age group. Using music and moves that young people love, it encourages a sense of achievement, whatever the child's stage or ability.
The Born to Move initiative is led by Dr Jackie Mills, Head of Programming at Les Mills, child movement specialist Anna Zahn and Les Mills programming and education veteran Janine Phillips.
Explaining her belief that that this initiative is the most important Les Mills has ever embarked upon, Dr Mills states "the world is heading towards a physical inactivity epidemic, and the early years of life are a critical window to form positive habits. Young people who learn to love being active are more likely to grow up to be fit and healthy adults and experience benefits including strong muscles and bones, improved cardiovascular fitness and significantly decreased risk of disease."
It is Les Mills' vision that all youth have the opportunity to benefit from an active and healthy life. Young people in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Scandinavia, and South East Asia can already experience Born to Move with the USA, UK and wider Europe rolling out live classes now.
And Les Mills stresses that Born to Move is not only appropriate to typical fitness facility settings but that classes can be delivered in health and fitness clubs, community centre and education facilities.
Born to Move consists of a series of movement-based classes segmented into five age groups, with music and choreography designed to meet the unique needs of each developmental stage, from toddlers to teens. The classes are updated three times a year and are designed to plug into young people's innate need to move. They build confidence and foundation fitness skills through movement, imagination and games that are set to the magic of music.
Born to Move classes are delivered in 30, 45 or 55 minute formats for toddlers to teens:
Two to three years
Using specially created music featuring lyrics that act as sung instructions, these classes involve both the parent/caregiver and the child as children are led through simple moves that build body awareness and balance.
Four to five years
Children in this age group are gaining more effective control over movements and have vivid imaginations. These classes involve children in the narrative to help them develop self-awareness, balance, weight transfer and concentration skills while learning how to interpret music and move to a beat.
Six to seven years
Fundamental movement skills are introduced using fun rather than formal exercise routines. Teachers can focus on two options, either foundation fitness movements or dance. Children of this age are primarily visual learners and emphasis is on moves that are easy to copy.
Eight to 12 years
Teachers show participants moves from dance, martial arts and yoga. It includes the latest music and introduces games to keep things interesting while developing fitness skills. The instructor will adapt their approach to match participant mood and energy levels so everyone leaves class feeling great.
13 to 16 years
Classes draw from the disciplines of martial arts, dance, sports conditioning, plyometrics and yoga, and are led by a trained instructor with the latest tracks to keep teens engaged. Participants will leave class with a strong sense of achievement and buzzing with energy.
For more information about Les Mills and Born to Move™ visit www.lesmills.com/borntomove
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