Category Archives: Healthy Habits

  1. Youth Fitness Classes in Charlotte

    It is important that for kids to stay healthy they should get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. However, studies show that less than 10% of our youth today get their daily hour of exercise. A regular fitness program can help kids and teens reduce anxiety and stress, boost academic performance, improve self-esteem, and most important establish lifelong healthy habits.

    Active kids also have stronger muscles and bones, less risk of becoming overweight, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. While research provides significant evidence that all physical activity positively contributes to overall health and well-being, kids need to focus more on regular exercise. Otherwise, they are at risk of becoming a sport spectator and may end up living an inactive lifestyle.

    Why Kids Need Healthy Exercise Habits

    We are big believers that any kind of physical activity is good for our youth especially since the latest study in Preventive Medicine shows that most kids today are as sedentary as 60 year olds. The fact is that our human body was designed to move! And for thousands of years, that is exactly what we did.

    However, rapid technological advances in the last 50 years (computers, television, the internet, cars, phones, etc.) has made us increasingly sedentary. The “sitting disease,” is a term used by our scientific community to describe individuals that engage in prolonged periods of sitting or overall inactivity.

    Even though sitting down all day may seem harmless, it has a negative impact on our health and it is literally making us sick. This is why sitting is now considered the new smoking and too much sitting increases your risk of chronic health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

    We need to teach kids early in life that working out is a habit smart people use to practice self-discipline and perseverance, the same two skills required to create happiness and prosperity. People who approach exercise this way do it longer and outlive those who see working out as a chore.

    How Regular Exercise Transforms Lives

    The benefits of working out are too great to ignore since regular exercise prevents weight gain, increases energy and stamina, enhances sleep, and reduces the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even depression. Working out also has many mental benefits since it gives kids the confidence and grit (mental toughness) they need to pursue their dreams and to reach their full potential.

    Our program was designed for kids and was developed by us over a decade ago. In 2003, we built the first teen fitness and weight loss program in our nation, Lean Teen Program, and rebuilt it again in 2014. Over the past 16 years our program has helped over 1,000 kids and teens transform their lives.

    By combining personalized nutrition, group support, and unlimited exercise classes, our program makes getting fit as easy as 1-2-3. It provides a complete solution that gives kids and teens (ages 8-18) all the tools they need to transform their lives and build healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

    1. Personalized Nutrition Plan

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. We will also train your family on how to build a healthy plate.

    MyPlate is an effective and simple way for your teen to learn how to make better food choices. Finally, your coach will keep track of your child’s monthly progress and offer the expert advice your family needs. After all, the key to lowering and maintaining weight is to follow a balanced nutrition plan.

    2. Group Support Meetings

    All our group support classes are designed to help our kids and teens stay motivated and on track to reaching their fitness goals. It is all about empowering them with all the tools to be successful and giving them the support they need to build their strength, confidence, and self-esteem.

    With the assistance of an expert counselor, our group support classes discuss positive thinking, body image, self-esteem, anti-bullying strategies, dealing with stress, goal setting, problem solving, nutrition, healthy recipes, food labels, teamwork, leadership training, and much more.

    3. Unlimited Exercise Classes

    All our exercise classes are designed to help our kids and teens get in shape no matter what their current level of activity is. Our circuit training classes combine short bursts of cardio with recovery periods to help your child burn more calories than exercising at the same pace in just half the time.

    Our classes stimulate the muscles while also keeping the heart rate elevated. Studies show that this is the best way to get the most from a workout. Each class is an hour long with 30 minutes of exercise and 30 minutes of group support to help our kids and teens stay physically and mentally in shape.

    Schedule Your Free Class Today

    At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give kids the tools they need to transform their lives and build healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Our program is the only year-round, affordable fitness and weight loss program designed especially for kids and teens between the ages of 8 to 18.

    We are driven by a strong belief that all children deserve the opportunity to realize their full potential. Let us help your child become an amazing version of themselves and schedule your free class today. We look forward to serving you and your family with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

  2. Nutrition Plan for Kids and Teens

    What kids and teens eat daily now will impact their health and quality of life for many years to come. The amount of food children eat is also one of the most important parts of building a fit lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight. Since children and adults have different calorie and nutrition needs, how much your child eats will affect their weight and risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

    MyPlate is an easy to follow food guide that was created by the USDA to help parents feed their kids nutritious meals. With its new icon, MyPlate reminds us how to eat better by showing a balanced plate that divides the four food groups into equally sized sections: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, and Protein.

    This is a big change from the food pyramid that made grains the largest food group by placing it at the bottom of the pyramid. As a result, the food pyramid overemphasized grains with 6-11 daily servings and gave less importance to vegetables and fruits with only 5-9 servings from these two food groups.

    The MyPlate icon makes it easier for kids and teens to eat healthy since now every food group has an equal portion on their plate. What your child eats and drinks will impact almost every aspect of their well-being including quality of life, risk of disease, self-esteem, academic performance, and energy. 

    MyPlate is a Great Visual Tool

    The USDA’s MyPlate program was designed to make balanced eating easy to visualize and apply to everyday life. Kids can clearly see that half of their plate should be filled with colorful fruits and veggies, about ¼ with lean protein and the remaining part left for grains, half of them being whole.

    But you might be wondering: Do I have to serve all the food groups at each meal? Do I really have to give my kids veggies for breakfast? If breakfast or lunch doesn’t include a veggie or fruit, give them at snack time or dinner. Use the plate as a guide for planning and serving a variety of healthy foods.

    The goal is to think of the plate as an entire day’s worth of eating: So, throughout the day, try to make half of what your kids eat vegetables and fruits, and the other half grains and protein foods. An occasional treat is fine, but be careful to limit foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients.

    You can teach your kids how to use MyPlate by focusing on these five simple messages: 1) Half of a healthy plate should always include fruits and vegetables, 2) Drink water instead of soda and sugary juices, 3) Make half of your grains whole, 4) Go lean with protein, and 5) Try more healthy snacks.

    The pictures on the left below show an unhealthy plate. However, by using MyPlate an unbalanced plate can easily become a balanced and healthy plate. It is all a matter of adding more fruits and veggies, cutting back on grains, and eating less carbohydrates, refined carbohydrates in particular.

    By changing the meals below from an unhealthy to a balanced plate, we reduced the total calories from 7,224 to only 2,399 calories. That is almost 5,000 less calories! Keep in mind that it is important to avoid fried foods and instead make grilling and cooking at home a daily habit. Also MyPlate is not just for kids, but for adults too. So get the whole family involved and start today making it a healthy plate!

    Schedule Your Free Class Today

    At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give kids and teens (ages 8-18) the tools they need to transform their lives and build healthy habits that will last a lifetime. By combining nutrition, group support, and exercise classes, our Lean Teen Program empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals. We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential.

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. Register today for a Free Day Pass so we can help your child to build healthy habits and get fit.  We look forward to serving you with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

  3. 5 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

    Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends is one of our favorite time of the year! However, while the holidays are a great time to get together, every party and gathering is also an excuse for us to take a break from our healthy eating habits. The good news is that there are things you can do to stay fit.

    The real meaning of Thanksgiving is not to feast but to give thanks. By focusing on gratitude you and your family will be able to eat consciously and joyfully while not packing the extra pounds. Follow these 5 nutrition tips to help you and your family cut calories without depriving anyone of a feast:

    #1: Skip Extra Portions and Servings

    Before you fill your plate, look around the buffet table and decide what you want to eat. Then select a reasonable portion of the foods that will satisfy your cravings. The trick is to resist the temptation to go back for second servings. Besides Thanksgiving leftovers are much better the next day! If you can limit yourself to just one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have room still available for a small dessert.

    #2: Fill 1/2 of Your Plate with Veggies

    If you are planning to visit family, make sure to take a salad bowl or vegetable plate. Otherwise be a health-conscious host and prepare plenty of veggies for everyone! Adding veggies to your plate will fill you up and keep you from indulging in unhealthy foods. Also, try to avoid cheese, cream, and butter.

    For many families mac and cheese is sometimes hard to avoid during Thanksgiving. But with several types of cheese, milk, and breadcrumbs, you might want to take just a tiny spoonful during your feast. To make your meal healthier skip the mac and cheese and choose a side dish of sweet potatoes.

    #3: Don’t Skip Breakfast and Lunch

    It is a big mistake to fast before a big meal or party. When people skip meals, they end up feeling so hungry by dinnertime that they sometimes behave irrationally and overeat. Don’t make this mistake! Make sure you and your family have a regular breakfast and lunch to avoid packing on the pounds.

    Studies show that teens who skip meals are more likely to be overweight than those who eat three meals a day. The fact is that skipping meals slows down your metabolism and causes you to eat more throughout the day. So make it a priority to have breakfast with your family on Thanksgiving.

    #4: Enjoy More Water, Less Dessert

    Remember to drink plenty of water before and during your meal since it will help your stomach to stay full and keep you from overeating. Teens cannot replace water with juices or diet sodas. Water helps us stay hydrated and increases our metabolic rate while juices and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that affect our hormone levels. Sugary drinks are simply empty calories and devoid of any nutrients.

    As for sweets, try to limit your portion to one serving of dessert. Your best bet is a slice of pumpkin pie since it has 40% fewer calories than pecan pie. Pumpkin also delivers fiber and, like all orange foods, pumpkins are packed with carotenoids which can help tackle free radicals and decrease inflammation. 

    #5: Make Fitness a Family Priority

    Take a walk early in the day with your family and again after dinner. Make fitness a family adventure! It’s the perfect way for your family to get physical activity during your special time together. Having the ability to move, breathe, and share life with your family will make you feel even more grateful.

    Eating less and exercising more is also the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays. By making smart choices that allow you to feel both satisfied and energized simultaneously, you will not feel deprived during Thanksgiving or feel stuffed and sluggish. This balance will help you stay fit!

    Focus on Weight Maintenance

    The holiday season is a time for celebration! However, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during this time of the year. If you and your family can shift from a mindset of weight loss to weight maintenance and control portions, then eating healthy during the holidays will not be as hard.

    If you have any questions please let us know. At Kalina’s Fitness we are always here to help you and your family build healthy habits that last a lifetime. Our program combines nutrition, support, and exercise classes to empower kids and teens with the tools they need to achieve their fitness goals.

    We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential. Let us help your child become an amazing version of themselves and register for your Free Class today. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Thank you for visiting us!

    get my free day pass

  4. We Have Over a 90% Success Rate

    Our program was developed by us, Jorge and Kalina Martinez, over a decade ago. In 2003, we built the first teen fitness and weight loss program in our nation, Lean Teen Program, and rebuilt it again in 2014. Over the past 16 years our program has helped over 1,000 kids and teens transform their lives.

    By combining nutrition, support, and exercise, Kalina’s Fitness makes losing weight easy as 1-2-3. Our program provides a complete solution to weight loss that gives teens ages 8 to 18 the tools to reach their goals and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. It is truly a program that works for all kids!

    Brigida Mack from WBTV News came to interview our Lean Teens and it was truly amazing to see our kids answer her questions about fitness and nutrition. Below you can watch the complete 40 minute news video and their testimonials. If you have limited time, please watch this quick 3 minute trailer.

    Teen Testimonials – News Video Part 1

    Teen Testimonials – News Video Part 2

    Teach Your Kids Healthy Habits Early

    Habits are actions and behaviors that we perform subconsciously and they are very difficult to break. Studies show that the habits that we develop early and are formed in childhood related to eating and exercise carry over into adulthood. And once poor health habits emerge they tend to be long lasting.

    For example, research has indicated that 97% of people who lose weight regain it again within 5 years. Yes, our health habits are really that hard to change! That is why if you want to help your child develop good habits that are associated with a longer and healthier life you have to start at a very early age.

    At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give kids and teens (ages 8-18) the tools to transform their lives and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. By combining nutritional counseling, group support, and exercise classes, we provide a complete solution that empowers them to achieve their fitness goals. We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential.

    1. Nutritional Counseling

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. We will also train you and your family on how to use MyPlate.

    MyPlate is an effective and simple way for children to learn how to control their portions with an easy to understand illustration that will teach them how to build a healthy plate. Finally, your coach will keep track of your child and offer expert advice to help your family make better food choices.

    2. Complete Group Support

    All our group support classes are designed to help kids stay motivated and on track to reaching their fitness goals. And they will make new friends and get the encouragement they need to be successful. It is all about empowering kids with the tools to build their strength, confidence, and self-esteem.

    With the assistance of an expert counselor, our group support classes discuss positive thinking, body image, self-esteem, dealing with stress, goal setting, problem solving, nutrition, and much more. We also have separate boys and girls classes to allow open communication and avoid distractions.

    3. Unlimited Exercise Classes

    All our exercise classes are designed to help kids get in shape no matter what their current level of activity is. Our circuit training classes focus on helping to stimulate the muscles while also keeping the heart rate elevated. Studies show that this is the best way to get the most from a workout.

    Our Lean Teen classes are an hour long and include 30 minutes of exercise as well as 30 minutes of group support to help kids stay physically and mentally in shape. By combining recovery periods with short bursts of cardio, they burn more calories than exercising at the same pace in just half the time.

    Schedule Your Free Class Today

    Our program is the only year-round, affordable fitness and weight loss program designed especially for kids and teens ages 8 to 18. By teaching children the value of exercise and proper nutrition, we can empower them with the strength, confidence, and self esteem they need to pursue their dreams.

    It all starts with a personal consultation to better understand your child’s eating and exercise habits. Let us help your teen become an amazing version of themselves and schedule your free class today. We look forward to serving you and your family with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

    get my free day pass

  5. The 3 Pillars of a Healthy Lifestyle

    Habits are actions and behaviors that we perform subconsciously and they are very difficult to break. Studies show that the habits that we develop early and are formed in childhood related to eating and exercise carry over into adulthood. And once poor health habits emerge they tend to be long lasting.

    For example, research has indicated that 97% of people who lose weight regain it again within 5 years. Yes, our health habits are really that hard to change! That is why if you want to help your child develop good habits that are associated with a longer and healthier life you have to start at a very early age.

    For these reasons, we will focus on the 3 pillars of a healthy lifestyle: nutrition, exercise, and sleep.

    1. Balanced Nutrition


    Proper nutrition is essential at every stage of life, but this is especially true for children. Kids need a balanced diet to help fuel their growing brains, muscles, and bodies. Whether you have a toddler or a teen, here are a few of the best strategies to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits.

    Sitting down at the table as a family is an important part of establishing healthy eating habits and provides quality time for the whole household. Studies show that families that eat together tend to eat more fruits and vegetables and consume less fast food, soft drinks, and foods high in added sugar.

    Eating at home is also more economical and gives you control over both the quality and quantity of food your family eats. While preparing family meals try to serve a variety of fruits and vegetables, limit soft drinks, encourage lots of water, keep in mind proper portion sizes, and avoid junk and fried foods.

    2. Physical Exercise


    In order to create a future of happy and healthy adults with your kids, it is essential to get active as a family. Unfortunately, between school, work, and extracurricular demands, families today are very busy and home is the place for decompressing in front of a screen… many times in separate rooms.

    Make physical activity part of your family’s routine. Take a walk, visit the community pool, or go on a bike ride. Encourage your kids to try team sports or karate classes. These can help your child’s growth and self-esteem. It is also essential that your child learn to workout and build a weekly exercise habit.

    Developing a weekly workout routine and playing sports are two very different things. Most kids that play sports eventually stop playing as adults. This is why it is so important for kids to learn to workout at a young age. Especially since it will be a lot harder for them to develop an exercise habit as an adult.

    3. Resting and Sleep


    Sleep, and the rest and repair it offers, is critical to life. It ensures the optimal functioning of our bodies including our physical endurance, mood, memory, digestion, and even the condition of our skin. However, compared to diet and exercise, our culture undervalues the health benefits of sleep.

    Most kids today are trading their sleep time for screen time which can have negative long-term consequences. Kids that do not get enough sleep often gain weight since they become hungrier and drawn to high-calorie foods. They are also at a higher risk of diabetes and have a slower metabolism.

    This is why it is critical that kids have no more than 2 hours of screen time per day to be fit. Screen time includes the TV, computer, tablet, and video games. You should also set time limits on smart phones as a part of screen time. Promote physical activity instead and make sure your kids get plenty of rest.

    Schedule Your Free Class Today


    At Kalina’s Fitness, we combine personalized nutrition, group support, and unlimited exercise classes to empower kids and teens with the tools they need to achieve their fitness and weight loss goals. We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential. Let us help your child become an amazing version of themselves and register today for a Free Day Pass.

    get my free day pass

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