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Children's Games That Can Help the Whole Family Get in Shape

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Benefits: "It works the quads, hamstrings, and calves for pushing off, hamstring and calf eccentrically when landing, and the up-and-down motion is good stimulus for the vestibular system, which helps with balance," says Scripps.

What You Need: A long, narrow plank balanced perfectly on some sort of center piece. You can buy a seesaw ( or you can build one with a kit (

How You Play: A seesaw needs two people. One person sits on each end, and then you start. One person pushes off the ground while the other is automatically lowered. That person then pushes off, and the one opposite is lowered. This continues until you get tired.

How Many Calories You Burn*: About 2.9 calories per minute or 88 calories per half-hour.

*Calorie burns are based on a 155-pound person.

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, founder and editor of, the health and fitness network and author of The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible. Copyright 2008 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from, August 2008.



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