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Ready, Set, Stretch

Week 1

Ready, Set, Stretch

Improving flexibility can help you build strength and prevent injuries. This week, we want kids to focus on stretching and flexibility. 

Mark Challenge as Complete

Teacher Weekly Game Plan

Key Takeaway

Kids should know that stretching increases flexibility, boosts muscle performance, helps to prevent injury and can be fun. Also, it’s important to fuel up with carbohydrates such as whole grains or fruit prior to a workout or activity.

Important Weekly Facts

  • Flexibility is critical in the prevention of injuries and key to building strength.
  • Stretching prepares the body for activity and boosts muscle performance. 
  • Stretching boosts the number of nutrients and oxygen delivered to muscles.
  • Stretching increases heart and respiratory rate and makes it easier to burn calories.
  • Fueling up with healthy food provides energy for your body.
Ready, Set, Stretch
1

Exercises

Get Going!

Active stretching gets your body moving while loosening and strengthening it at the same time. Watch Andrew Luck take you through a variety of great exercises. Watch Andrew Luck take you through a variety of great exercises. 

Do not attempt the exercises if an injury or limitation prevents you from completing them safely. Participation at any level is sufficient to complete the challenge.  Exercises can be done in the classroom or at home. 

Exercise 1: Knee Hug

Let’s hug it out…your knees that is. The Standing Knee Hug is a great stretch that works the hips, lower back and hamstrings. Watch the video, animated GIF or follow the steps we’ve provided to make sure you’re doing it right.

  • Step 1: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your chest up tall.
  • Step 2: Pull your left knee up to your chest with both hands, maintain good posture and balancing on your right foot. Hold.
  • Step 3: Alternate each leg.
  • Step 4: Do at least 5 on each leg but no more than 15.

Exercise 2: Lunge & Twist

It’s strength building with a twist. Literally. The Lunge & Twist works your quadriceps and hamstrings while also engaging your core. Do it and help build lower body strength and balance.

  • Step 1: Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Step 2: Take a step forward with one foot and bend both knees. Maintain good posture. Your back heel should lift off the floor.
  • Step 3: Descend until your back knee almost touches the floor.
  • Step 4: Twist your torso 45 degrees in the direction of your forward-facing leg, and then rotate back to the center.
  • Step 5: Stand back up, bring your feet together, and repeat with the other leg.
  • Step 6: Try to do at least 8 on each leg.

Exercise 3: Alternate Toe Touch

Get down with a great stretch.  Alternate Toe Touches are great for developing the abdominal muscles as well as the hamstrings. Additionally, it can improve your coordination.

  • Step 1: Stand with your feet aligned underneath your hips, shoulder-width apart.
  • Step 2: Raise the right leg straight in front of you to meet your left hand.
  • Step 3: Come back to center and repeat with your left leg and right hand.
  • Step 4: Try to do at least 10 touches on each toe.

Exercise 4: Triceps Stretch

Now let's get the upper body loose. The triceps are key muscles to strengthen in your arms. So watch the video or animated GIF and follow these steps we’ve provided to make sure you’re doing it right.

  • Step 1: Extend your right arm in front of you.
  • Step 2: Keeping your arm straight, pull your arm across your chest and hold.
  • Step 3: Hold your elbow with your opposite hand until you feel a stretch.
  • Step 4: Repeat with your left arm.
  • Step 5: Try to rotate arms 3 times and hold each for at least 10 seconds.
Ready, Set, Stretch
2

Nutrition

Fuel Up!

Have your kids stick to these guidelines and they’ll pass the “Fuel Up” part of this challenge.

Do

  • Drink water before, during and after exercising
  • Fuel up with carbohydrates such as whole grain bread or fruit before a workout

Avoid

  • Exercising on an empty stomach; our bodies need fuel
  • Loading up on sports drinks or sugary drinks before a workout

Banana Cherry Smoothie

This snack not only provides key nutrients found in fresh fruit like bananas and cherries, it also keeps muscles hydrated. And hydrated muscles are flexible ones. 

  • ½ cup tart cherries
  • ½ cup frozen dark, sweet cherries
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup soy milk or 4-6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  1. In blender, combine all ingredients.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Filled with hearty goodness, this soup is packed with protein and essential vegetables, which promotes a healthy, more flexible body.  

  • 1 to 1½ pounds cooked chicken, diced/cubed or shredded
  • 2 cups carrots, fresh, frozen or canned - fresh is always preferred
  • 1 cup peas 
  • ½ cup celery     
  • ½ cup chopped white or yellow onion OR 1 cup pearl onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅛ tablespoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ to ¾ cup flour
  1. Combine all ingredients in a crock pot EXCEPT for the flour (the flour will be added later).
  2. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  3. After 5 hours of cooking, add in flour (1 to 2 tablespoons at a time). Stir as you add; the total amount of flour added will depend on desired thickness.
  4. Once you've reached your desired thickness, cook on low for an additional hour.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Kiwi Ice Pops

This is an easy and tasty treat for your body. Kiwi is packed with a high source of Vitamin C which keeps muscles hydrated and ready for activity. 

  • 1 ¾ cups of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 kiwis
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  1. Make the syrup by combining 1 cup of water with sugar. Bring to a boil and let cool.
  2. Make the ice pops by cutting up the kiwis, combining them with the other ingredients and pureeing in a food processor.
  3. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds.
  4. Freeze for about 6 hours.
Banana Cherry Smoothie
Snack
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Meal
Kiwi Ice Pops
Dessert
Ready, Set, Stretch
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Why it matters

Dig Deep!

Flexibility is not only critical in the prevention of injury, it’s key to building strength for a growing child’s body. See what our expert doctor has to say about stretching.

The Benefits of Stretching

  • Increases heart and respiratory rates
  • Boosts the number of nutrients and oxygen delivered to muscles
  • Prepares the body for the day or any activity
  • Makes it easier to burn calories
  • Helps extend workout and performance
  • Shields against injuries
Ready, Set, Stretch

Completed!

Great job! You’ve completed this week’s challenge. We hope you had fun and learned a thing or two. Keep it up — we have seven more weeks of activity and nutrition challenges lined up for you. You won’t want to miss it — move on to the Mindful Morning Challenge!

Check off your progress

Expert Riley Physicians

For exceptional primary care, trust Riley Physicians and our outstanding network of pediatricians and family medicine doctors. With online scheduling and Same-Day appointments, the very best care is here for:

  • Issues with balance or strength
  • Ongoing fatigue or common and uncommon illnesses
  • School and sports physicals
  • Falls and Breaks
  • Annual Check-ups
Schedule an appointment