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Fulbright Specialist Roster

Executive Director Arnell Hinkle Named Fulbright Specialist in Public/Global Health

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Why Physical Activity?

Physical Activity Toolbox

10 Strategies to Incorporate Physical Activity into your Youth Program

Download CANFIT’s physical activity matrix based on the new CDE PA guidelines to help increase PA in your program today.

Adolescents need at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. However, recent studies have shown that physical activity rates have sharply declined in adolescents. Regular physical activity can help improve health of today's youth and reduce the risk of developing chronic disease such as type II diabetes. Other positive results from physical activity include improved academic performance, increased self esteem, lower levels of anxiety and improved weight control and bone mass. Yet it is not enough just to know the facts about physical activity. CANFIT Physical Activity Publications As youth providers, you must see the value of activity for the youth and for yourself. CANFIT works to dispel the myths that many people believe you can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise; or that if you are naturally thin, you don't have to think about being physically active. Physical activity is a principle that all people need to adapt in their lifestyles! CANFIT believes that promoting physical activity to youth can be best achieved by: “Providing options, keeping it simple, teaching it often and doing it right!”

Here is a sample of some FREE physical activity resources

For more “FREE Publications” go to our Publications page.

CANFIT’s ACTIVE8 Physical Activity Guide includes everything you need to make it easier to promote physical activity to youth. It includes: Sample games and activities, exercise do’s and don’ts, info about body image and ways to advocate for physical activity in your school, after school and/or community.

New California After School Physical Activity Guidelines
The California Department of Education (CDE), the California After School Resource Center (CASRC) and a statewide Expert Panel (CANFIT included) developed ten strategies to help after school programs create high-quality physical activity programming that expands learning opportunities of the school-day.

CANFIT’s Physical Activity Pyramid
You’ve heard of the Food Pyramid. CANFIT developed a Physical Activity Pyramid for After School Programs to get youth active every day. This document is a simple and easy to understand description of how to organize physical activity in your program. Try it today!

CANFIT Physical Activity Trainings
CANFIT offers a variety of physical activity for youth serving organizations. Contact us today and we’ll tailor it specific to your community’s needs!

Other PA Trainings
In addition to the trainings that CANFIT provides, here is a list of other PA Trainings that are available to after school and community staff and providers.


CANFIT’s SOUL Principles for Physical Activity

Whether you’re advocating for physical activity, designing a program or leading exercises, make the SOUL Principles the heart of everything you do. Remember to start with the SOUL when you are implementing a new physical activity program, game, sport or curriculum:

    Create an Environment that Fosters Participation by All
    • Offer a variety of activities to help youth develop the skills and confidence to participate.
    • Play games that involve all participants, not just a few.
    • Try not to use physical activity as punishment or reward, which can cause youth to form negative associations with physical activity and be less inclined to participate.
    • Be enthusiastic and creative in order to keep youth interested.

    Provide a space structure for youth to lead activities

    • Choose activity and enjoyment over competition.
    • Youth can learn a great deal from engaging in competition, but be sure to offer a wide range of competitive and non-competitive activities.
    • Model activities so that youth know what is expected of them.
    • Provide an opportunity—and encourage ALL youth to lead activities.

    Emphasize Health at Every Size

    • Try not to single out individuals.
    • Promote a positive body image.
    • Do NOT use weight, size or BMI as a measure of health.

    Respect Different Cultures within your Program

    • Keep in mind that individuals may hold different values to exercise and fitness.
    • Teach the youth in your program to respect all people.
    • Engage families around health and wellness activities.