It's officially six weeks before school ends and the always-anticipated summer vacation begins. Routines will slowly unwind and take a backseat as families enjoy less structure and the great outdoors. Our kids will go from sitting at desks for several hours a day to summer camps, parks, splash pads and cottages.
School is (nearly) out; let the summer fun begin!
During the school year we normally hit a nearby park for some much-needed physical activity; and, since this is my field (as a strength and conditioning coach), we grab a ball and play games that help strengthen my kids' balance, co-ordination, speed and agility. Maybe this has a more familiar ring: "TAG, you're it!"
The numbers are startling. And they don't lie. Kids are getting fatter every day. Sugar consumption is on the rise. Experts warn that this next generation might not outlive its parents. That is an unbelievably frightening thought. How on earth did it get this bad?
More and more cutbacks at our schools means less funding for athletic programs to keep our kids active and fit. How are we missing the connection between the two? Why is it we focus so much on teaching our kids to read and write at such an early age, yet the same time and energy fails to go into developing the fundamentals of physical fitness?
Think about it. You learn to read and a whole new world opens up to you. You can pick up a book on any topic and dive into it for hours, consuming knowledge. Powerful knowledge that helps shape your future. And yet we neglect to teach our kids the ABCs of physical literacy.
What's physical literacy? It breaks down into agility, balance, co-ordination and speed. The four areas in which our kids are not being properly trained at early in life. You're going to hear this term more and more as it's one of the biggest cures to combat childhood obesity.
Getting kids to adopt a lifestyle of physical activity at an early age translates to a greater love of it later on in life. Now repeat that out loud and let it sink in. It's important.
Teaching kids how to run, jump, kick, swim, throw (and all that good stuff of being a kid back when playing outside was the norm) with proper mechanics is the foundation to develop fitness confidence. You wouldn't wait until your kid was 10 years old before teaching her to read, right? So why do we wait so long before developing their physical skills?
So I ask you, as a parent, what are you doing to ensure your kids are physically active year-round?