Welcome to the Online Course Inner Fitness for Kids™!

This course is designed for parents and children to learn how to manage stress and related emotions in an easy and positive way in order to support inner fitness.

I consider Inner fitness, for the purpose of this program, and as a philosophy as good mental and emotional health.

The Inner Fitness for Kids™ program is intended to teach good mental and emotional health.  This course is promotes achieving inner fitness through exercises designed to promote positive thinking, improved mood and greater resilience.

Inner Fitness for Kids™is a program designed to introduce your child or teen to the concept of Inner Fitness through experiential exercises and audio recordings.  I hope you enjoy and they enjoy it!

Why Inner Fitness is Important

We go to school to learn many things.  We learn how to read, to do math, do play a sport or an instrument. We are also taught the importance of physical fitness.

Let's compare Inner Fitness to Physical Fitness

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Think of Inner Fitness for Kids as a gym for managing stress.  When you go to the gym, there are many machines, weights, and exercises to choose from.  

Most people choose one or more exercises to do on regular basis.   In an overall sense, it doesn't matter what you choose, what is most important is that you are "exercising" regularly! Doing something daily or at least several times per week is recommended for maintaining both physical health and inner health.   

Most children and adults notice that regular listening to one or more of the recordings in this program will  assist with the following: 

  • Train the body to relax.
  • Build emotional resilience.
  • Learn to address specific emotions related to stress.
  • Enhance sleep.
  • Become a more positive thinker. 

Simply choose from the different exercises.   

You can download the audio MP3 audio recordings to a tablet, computer, or cell phone.   You can play the audio from the computer by clicking on the corresponding videos where videos have been provided.

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How Stress Effects Us

Stress occurs all the time. Therefore it makes sense that adults, teens, and children need to learn healthy ways to cope with stress on a daily basis.  Otherwise, stress can build up and cause problems with many aspects of our lives.  

When stress is not cleared regularly, it shows in many ways.

Here are some ways stress shows up:

  • Difficulty falling asleep.
  • Difficulty staying asleep.
  • Difficulty focusing on schoolwork and studies.
  • Problems remembering what you hear and study.
  • Bad moods including feeling angry, anxious or sad.
  • Anxiety during test taking.

In order to explain this concept to children, think about comparing it to how you would describe the importance of physical fitness,  It is commonly known and accepted that physical fitness is important.  Physical fitness is good health and strength achieved through physical exercise.   

On the mental and emotional levels, stress and related emotions can become problematic when we don't take the time or have the tools to proactively manage stress.   

This means you need tools and techniques to manage stress daily and in an on-going manner.  Think of taking care of your mind and emotions the same way that you are taught to take care of your teeth.  It is recommended to brush and floss daily for good dental hygiene,   Similarly, it is recommended that you practice good mental and emotional hygiene the same way you take care of your teeth - daily!   

Even though it is recommended to do some kind of inner fitness exercise regularly, in some instances, you will have a specific goal in mind like you would if you were training for a specific sport like running a marathon or a playing a tennis match. With inner fitness, it might be you want to learn how to be more relaxed during test taking or learn how to more effectively manage anger.

Discussion idea for parents:  Learning healthy ways to cope on a daily basis, like the ones in this program may prevent you, your teen, and your child from reaching unhealthy levels of emotional stress like anxiety and depression.  It may prevent you or someone you love from reaching for drugs, alcohol, or other unhealthy habits as a way to cope with the stresses of life.

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Stress is the body's way of reacting to a challenge.  Typically, when a person encounters something that is perceived as stressful, the body tenses and muscles tighten throughout.  Challenges occur every day.  And for most people, some level of stress is experienced every day.  Some people just call that life!

The signs of stress vary from person to person and situation to situation.  

  • Stress can be experienced in the physical body like your heart racing while watching a scary movie. 
  • Stress can be mental like your mind feeling unsettled or unclear while taking a test in school. 
  • Stress can even be perceived as a stressful emotion like feeling anxious while taking a test. 

Look at the image in this section for examples of what can cause stress.  

For parents of children ten and under, ask your children what things make them feel stressed.  Ask them how they know they are stressed.  What signs or symptoms do they experience?

For children aged 11+, write down in a journal what situations, things or people make you feel stressed.  For each situation, write down how you experience stress in each situation.  In other words, what is happening in your mind and body that indicates you are feeling stressed?

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Stressful thoughts and emotions can cause the body to feel tense, tight, and stiff. 

One way to relieve or manage stress is by learning how to relax the body with your imagination. In this module, I will be teaching you a technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

There are a few variations of Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR).  The kind I will be teaching you in this module is where you learn to relax the muscles in the body from the top of the down to the tips of the toes.  

Typically, you start with the muscles in the face and imagine feeling those muscles relax, telling the muscles to relax area by area.  And then continuing to relax the different muscle groups of the body progressing all the way down to the toes.  

Many people who play sports must learn how to keep their bodies relaxed, loose and fluid in order to perform the movements required for their sport.  For example, you might see a basketball player shake their arms and legs before they make a free throw shot.   Or you might see a baseball player loosen up before throwing or pitching in the game. I have taught many athletes progressive muscle relaxation so that they develop the ability to maintain a relaxed under pressure.  With baseball pitchers, for example, this translates into greater speed and accuracy with when throwing the ball.  For a tennis player, it can mean quicker reaction times and more power when striking the ball. Now, it’s your turn!  

Like an athlete, you can learn to take charge of how your body responds to stress.