Something that is near and dear to my heart is the problem we have facing our country, and for that matter, the entire world. Childhood obesity is sweeping the nation and robbing our children of healthy, fulfilled lives.  Let’s look at some of the stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the growing problem of childhood obesity.

-        Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.

-        The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.

-        In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

We can go on and on about all the health risks and the facts are undeniable; we have a very serious problem facing us that we must do something about.  What often go unstated are the physiological impacts that face our youth.  I was one of these children affectionately labeled “husky” and have had several body image issues that still plague me to this day.  I started to go on my first “diet” at the age of 12.   I was lucky that I was active in sports and that I was able to offset some of the damage I was doing to myself with my eating.  Still, I went on a weight roller coaster ride throughout my adolescent years and into early adulthood.

My hope is that with all the knowledge that is available to us that we work hard to help the youth understand the importance of health and wellness. This is a gift you can give them that they will take for the rest of their life.  Remember YOU are the one that children are looking to as a role model, so before we go any further, take a minute to think of the example you set for the young ones in your life.  Perhaps these are changes that you need to make together.

Nutrition is a must and is often times where you should start with children, especially at a young age. Let’s focus on simple ideas to get you and your kids active and learning to make fitness a part of their life at young age.

 

Muscle Building ideas

Burpees

Push ups

Planks

Tug-of- war or battle ropes

Rowing

Resistance bands are a great way to start a weight training program

Skipping

Hiking

 

Aerobic ideas

Any sports

Jumping rope

Dancing

Swimming

Running, hiking

Skiing

Canoeing

 

Stretching

Yoga

Martial arts

Simple stretching program- forward folds, sit and reach, ect.

 

As you can see there are several different ideas that require little or no equipment to get you out and moving.  Even if the child is not into team or individual sports, there are still plenty of activities they can be involved in.  These are the people who will rule the world in the not too distant future and we want to make sure that we reverse this trend of an overweight nation. 

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” -Gandhi

Yours in Health,

Ben

Ben Novak, OL Strength Conditioning Specialist