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VERB. Ponte las Pilas. Sal y Juega

It has nothing to do with nouns and adjectives. It’s what you do.

It’s running, swimming, biking, skating, playing hard. It’s whatever gets you moving—today and every day. It’s pure adrenaline and pure fun. Everyone has a VERB. What’s yours? Ponte las pilas!

Check it out...

  • Soccer Tips for Kicking in a Goal
  • Ballet, Hip-Hop or Salsa—Get Up and Dance!
  • Roller Hockey—Get in Gear
  • Volleyball Rules and Tips to Keep Your Ball Airborne
  • Basketball—Dribble, Pass, Shoot, Play
  • Care to Go for a Jog?
  • VERBs with a Twist
  • Flipping for Gymnastics

...and more!

VERB Time…Did you know that every day, from 3:00 to 6:00, it’s VERB Time?

You can get going anytime, anywhere, but between 3:00 and 6:00 is a great time to go out and play! Go out and play and try out some VERBs.

Ballet, Hip-Hop or Salsa —Get Up and Dance!

Dance is a pattern of movements usually set to music. It’s art, it’s entertainment, it’s a workout…it’s also just plain fun!

Ballet—Ballet is a type of dance dating back to the 15th century with formal steps, usually set to music. It often tells a story and is performed for an audience. Many of the popular ballets today—such as "The Sleeping Beauty" and "Swan Lake"—were developed in the 1800s.

Hip Hop—With roots in the 1930s, a hip-hop beat became popular in the 1970s. With it came an athletic style of dancing called break dancing, which has a lot of jumps and leaps close to the floor. It’s an energetic form of dance that’s bound to make you break a sweat and have a ton of fun!

Salsa—Salsa is one of the most popular types of Latin dance, which combines Spanish and African music styles. It originated in Cuba in the 1800s. So feel the beat and see what the spice is all about!

Dance tips for every style…

  • Stand up straight—good posture is important in all types of dance.
  • The faster the music, the smaller your steps should be. The slower the music, the larger your steps can be.
  • Keep your feet as close to the floor as possible.
  • Forget about the steps (and anything else on your mind!) and feel the music.
  • Have your own style—dancers bring their own personality and movements to dance. Can you imagine if every person in the world danced exactly the same way? Boring!
  • If you’re dancing with a partner, look at their face…not their toes.
  • HAVE FUN! (This is the one tip you have to remember!) So get out there and shake to the beat of your own groove!

Kick It Up a Notch

Footbags, also known as Hackey Sacks®, are not just for tossing around with your friends—they’re actually used in a competitive sport. There are singles and doubles court games like tennis and volleyball where players use their feet to kick the footbag over a 5-foot-high net. Give it a try...tie a piece of string between two poles or trees. You could be a footbag champ and you don’t even know it!

Basketball—Dribble, Pass, Shoot, Play

Back in 1891, using peach baskets as hoops, Dr. James Naismith invented the sport of basketball. Fast forward to the present, and the same excitement and energy of the game can be felt on an NBA court, the local park or even your driveway. Basketball’s good for your upper and lower legs, arms, heart and lungs!

Good basketball starts with good skills.

  • Practice dribbling the ball by moving it in a figure eight between your legs.
  • Use just your fingertips to bounce it to the floor, and try to switch hands.
  • When passing, snap your wrists to direct the ball and give it force.

Get out there and play!

Tennis Anyone?

Tennis was invented around the year 1400 in France. Players used the palms of their hands instead of rackets. So, grab a ball and try tennis on for size during your VERB Time—rackets and court are optional! No court? Tie a rope to two chairs in the driveway, or hit the ball against a brick wall—be sure to get permission first.

Time to VERB

You can go out and play any time of the day, but a great time to get up and out is VERB Time – from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day. ¡Ponte las pilas!

Volleyball Rules and Tips to Keep Your Ball Airborne

Created over one hundred years ago, the game of volleyball still knocks people off their feet...literally! The point is to send the ball over the net to the ground on your opponent’s court, and to keep the ball from hitting the ground on your side of the court. Passing and serving are the most important skills to master in volleyball, and you can practice them with just a couple of friends and a ball. Some basic rules to remember are:

  1. the same player isn’t allowed to hit the ball twice in a row
  2. a team can only hit the ball up to three times before they get it over the net

For more tips on how you can get a game together with your friends, check out

Soccer Tips for Kicking in a Goal

Did you know that soccer is the number one sport in the world? Soccer players can run as many as 6 or 7 miles during one game! Go to the field or your backyard and get the most from your kick with these tips.

  • Keep your toes curled when you kick.
  • Kick with the top part of your foot, where the laces of your sneakers are.
  • Keep your knee over the ball.
  • Keep your head down to watch the position of your knee and watch your foot come
  • in contact with the ball.
  • Follow the shot through and complete the swinging motion of your leg.

Care to Go for a Jog?

More than 40 million people in the United States enjoy jogging on a regular basis. What’s the attraction?

  • It’s pretty easy, and can be adjusted to any level of fitness. In the beginning, start with a walk-jog-walk-jog routine.
  • It’s a great cardiovascular workout (it’s good for your heart).
  • There’s very little equipment required—just a good pair of running shoes or sneakers.
  • You can jog pretty much anywhere, anytime, with anyone you want and it doesn’t cost a thing. Make sure it’s a safe, well-lit area. Tell a parent where you’ll be—or better yet, bring them along.

Now that you’re ready to try jogging, here are some things to keep in mind.

To get your muscles in (and out) of gear, your jog should start with a warm up and end with a cool down. For a warm up, walk or slowly jog for five minutes or more. To bring your body back to rest after your jog, cool down with a walk or slow jog for another five minutes or so. These are really important aspects of your workout—they can help prevent muscle injury and even out your blood pressure so you won’t feel dizzy.

  • When you’re jogging, you should be able to hold a relaxed conversation. If you can’t, slow it down a few paces or switch to a walk.
  • Stay on sidewalks, and map out a route with your parents before you go running.

VERBs with a Twist

A unique sport in Argentina is pato—basketball on horseback! That’s definitely not something you’d want to try at home.

Invented in Brazil, futvolei is beach volleyball with no hands!

Ever heard of hip hop scotch? It’s like hopscotch, but instead of numbers, you write in dance moves. Wherever your rock falls is the way to move.

Want to play KB-Ball? It’s kickball, but on a basketball court. After you kick the ball, the player in the field has to try to make a basket. If they do and you’re not on base, you’re out. If they miss, keep running.

Come up with your own VERB with a twist and give it a whirl! Then give it a name and spread the fun during VERB time!

Flipping for Gymnastics

Strength, coordination and grace—these are attributes of a gymnast. Think you’re up for the challenge...and the fun? Gymnastics has been around for over 3,000 years! Guys and girls both compete. There are artistic gymnastics in which gymnasts perform on different pieces of equipment; and rhythmic gymnastics, filled with jumps, tumbles and flips where gymnasts can dance to music and use ribbons, hoops and bars in their routines.

How’s Your Balance?—The balance beam that women compete on is four feet off the ground and only four inches wide—that’s about the width of a loaf of bread! A routine usually lasts 70–90 seconds and includes a mount, tumbling series, leap series, a tumbling and leap combo series, and a dismount.

Give Yourself a Handstand—Being able to do a handstand is a basic skill of a gymnast. For beginners, it’s best to try it against a wall and have someone stand nearby to help you out if you need them. Check out gymnastics in the Summer Olympics® this August! Make gymnastics what you do during VERB Time and maybe you could go for the gold!

Roller Hockey—Get in Gear

More than 2 million people play roller hockey! Did you know an ice hockey player invented inline skates so he could practice during the offseason? Guess the idea caught on! When you play roller hockey, or other inline skating games (basketball, anyone?), remember to wear your gear. That includes wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads and a brain bucket (that’s what they call a helmet in most action sports, like skateboarding and bicycle motorcross).

Take a Dip!

Did you know that elephants can swim up to 20 miles a day? They stick their trunks above the water like snorkels! Why don’t you grab your snorkel and take a swim!

Watch Out! Pie Plate Coming Through!

The Frisbee® got its start when some Yale University students started throwing around light-weight metal pie tins. They were from Frisbie Bakery and had the company’s name stamped on them. The students would call out "Frisbie!" when throwing the tins around. After realizing how much fun they were having, they decided to let other people in on it and invented the Frisbee! Grab one and check out disk bowling or disk golf!

Going Cross Country with Nicolas

What three VERBs do you like best?

I like running, playing racquetball with my dad and playing with my little brother at the playground.

When’s the best time of day to VERB?

The best time for me is after school. I do all of my homework first and then I VERB.

What do you like best about the VERBs you do?

I like that they are fun and that they allow me to be active and happy. What’s your main VERB? I am currently on the Cross Country Team at my school.

What do you like best about your VERB?

I like that my VERB allows me to make friends with people I wouldn’t meet in class or in school, and it involves my favorite activity, which is running.

How do you feel about yourself since you started this VERB?

I feel more confident in my abilities because I have been able to do things that I didn’t think I would ever be able to do. I’ve learned that I can do things like run more than a mile, or run a race and not come in last.

What advice would you give to other kids about finding their VERBs?

My advice is to find something that you really enjoy doing and keep doing it and working at it so that you can have fun with your VERB. Some VERBs can be more fun if you do them with a group, so don’t be afraid to let people join you.

VERB Talk with Areli and Rocio
See how these twin sisters VERB…

What VERBs do you like best?

Areli: Riding my bike and playing kickball with my friends.
Rocio: Running and playing basketball.

When’s the best time of day to VERB?

Areli & Rocio: After school.

What do you like best about your VERBs?

Areli: It can be fun and I can do it with my friends.
Rocio: Making my family happy and having fun.

What advice would you give to other kids about finding their VERBs?

Areli: I would say get off the couch, go outside and do something fun!
Rocio: Try something new!

For more ideas on how and where to get moving, visit VERB. It’s what you do. at BAM! Body and Mind at

© 2003 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Created by Lifetime Learning Systems®, Inc., a division of Weekly Reader.

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