There’s no shortage of newscasts these days talking about the health of kids and their lack of physical activity due to technology and “laziness” and everyone and everyone is trying to find the “solution.”
In an attempt to combat this “problem”, health clubs and fitness centres are promoting adult style boot camps and fitness classes for kids, schools are installing treadmills and spin bikes in classrooms, and youth sports have moved to playing year round in an attempt to get kids “fit” and into “shape.” I’m not saying in all cases that these are bad (well okay some of them are based on what I’ve seen) but while many of these “solutions” may work in the short term and appeal to the adults involved, I feel children and youth deserve a lot more than bandaids short term solutions.
I’m a big fan of unstructured play based activities that include self and peer directed movement, discovery and creativity for kids of all ages. In my work with young kids I seldom if at all use the word exercise because for me it’s not about exercise nor is it all about sports either.
I came across this excerpt recently on the Facebook page of friend and colleague Jeremy Frisch. Jeremy is the Owner and Director of Achieve Performance Training in Clinton, MA.
The quote below struck a chord with me and so I wanted to share it with you. For me it sums up my thoughts and feelings quite nicely about what physical activity is about. Give it a read and leave a comment below in the Reply Box and let me know what you think.
“Physical activity is not about sport and it is about more than just exercise. It is about the relationship between human beings and their environment, and about improving human well being by strengthening that relationship. It is not about running on a treadmill, whilst staring at a mirror and listening to your iPod. It is about using the body that we have in the way it was designed, which is to walk often, run sometimes, and move in ways where we physically exert ourselves regularly whether that is at work, at home, in transport to and from places, or during leisure time in our daily lives.”
~ Lancet (Medical Journal)
Youth Fitness Guy