It was all over the news this morning. Canada scores a D- in the overall activity levels of children. A tie with the United States, Australia and Ireland. It was just a few months ago that the American Heart Association released a report stating, “Excess weight at young ages has been linked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood. Perhaps one of the most sobering statements regarding the severity of the childhood obesity epidemic came from former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who characterized the threat as follows:
“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”
So what can we do about it??
I would suggest that this is a two part answer. Part one is being active and part two is better nutrition. Today I’ll address activity. According to the recent report card, “Our country values efficiency – doing more in less time – which may be at direct odds with promoting children’s health. Canadian parents look to structured activities and schools to get their kids moving.”
Unfortunately, many of those activities aren’t as active as one may think. How many minutes of vigorous activity does a kid get during game time or during practices? Add it up the next time you are out at the soccer field or baseball diamond. I bet you’ll be surprised.
An alternative that I am trying with my kids and their friends is with small groups for 30 minutes with a trainer. They are doing it twice per week and we are seeing some serious results. They look forward to every session and leave with a smile. It’s 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity that involves components of strength, balance, flexibility and stability. In a group setting it is affordable and fun. As a bonus, if the parent is a member, I throw in a free membership for the kids as long as they are enrolled in the group training sessions.
If you are interested, shoot me an e-mail. I’d be happy to arrange a no charge consultation and demo class.
To read a copy of the Report Card, just click here.