The answer is simple. There are too many electronics and too much junk/processed/fast food. I could share study after study about how electronics make children sedentary, as well as the pitiful nutrition habits of America’s kids, but I will save you the boring read. Get your kids off the couch, off of the smart phones, out of the pantry, and into a gym. Even if it isn’t here at Infinity Fitness, do your son or daughter or grandchild a favor and get in one somewhere near you. Your child already has a couple practices a week for basketball, you say? That’s not enough. It’s important to add steady cardio, injury prevention, resistance training (and no, it won’t to stunt their growth), and core exercises to each of our young people’s weekly routine.
Here are two more REALLY good reasons to your child involved in a youth fitness program today:
- Performance enhancement Every parent wants their child to have an edge over other children. For most, it is related to a sport they play. Fitness programs 2-3 times a week for 30-40 minutes can change a young athlete’s abilities dramatically. Injury prevention goes hand in hand with performance enhancement – the more a child can build his or her musculature around their joints, the less susceptible to injuries they become. I know, as a father myself, that keeping a child safer trumps just about anything else.
- Beta Endorphins This is a chemical that is released within the body that is a “feel good”, also referred to as a “runners high”. Beta Endorphins create a sense of euphoria in the body after working out. It’s the same feeling you get after you’ve worked out – happy, energized and ready to tackle life. Studies have also shown good fitness practices have a positive effect on academic performance, improving their mental capabilities if the child is exercising at least 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes or more.
To my understanding, schools are are doing away with more and more of the time young kids have to be active in favor of more time in the classrooms, and ultimately, sitting down. My belief, share with others I’m sure, is that it’s just adding to this country’s problem with childhood obesity. Youth Fitness programs are great for the young athletes, but it is also great for any kid. I love to help all shapes and sizes build confidence and build better self images of themselves.
I am well aware of the amount of time that has gone into discussing the topic of childhood obesity, but helping kids get fit and enjoy it is my passion. I know this isn’t news, or a fresh concept, but maybe it’s a little bit of a call to action. Our kids don’t realize that these kinds of bad habits can slowly kill them. It is our job – as parents, a community, coaches and trainers – to give them the tools to make good choices and be healthy adults. Start right now…if you are reading this, get up and go for a walk with your kid.
Mike Sheahan, CPT, PES, NASE