Children are not getting the recommended levels of physical fitness

November 21, 2013

Children are not getting enough exercise.

New research presented by the American Heart Association isn’t the most the encouraging news in recent years. In fact, it showed that children’s fitness has continued to worsen over the last three decades. Only about one-third of kids who are 6 and up get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise throughout the course of the day. This is a problem that health experts have seen coming for years.

“It makes sense,” Dr. Stephen Daniels, a University of Colorado pediatrician and spokesman for the AHA, told The Associated Press. “We have kids that are less active than before. Kids aren’t getting enough opportunities to build up that activity over the course of the day. Many schools, for economic reasons, don’t have any physical education at all.”

Fitness levels need to get better among children
Smart devices, video games and a wide range of other factors are taking away from the amount of exercise that kids are able to get on a daily basis. The research shows that children simply aren’t as fit as their parents were at the same age.

Grant Tomkinson, an exercise physiologist at the University of South Australia, conducted the research by measuring how far children could run in 5 to 15 minutes and how quickly they ran anywhere from half a mile to 2 miles. The results prove that kids are about 15 percent less fit than their parents.

“We are currently facing the most sedentary generation of children in our history,” said Sam Kass, a White House chef and head of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, in a recent address, stated The AP.

How can parents fix this problem?
Getting children involved in something they can enjoy is key for parents who want to see higher levels of physical fitness. According to an article from the American Fitness Professionals & Associates, martial arts training could be the answer parents are looking for, especially for those kids who struggle to do well in team sports.

Enrolling in a martial arts school will teach children self-discipline that will not only get kids to want to exercise more, but they can expect to learn kicks, punches, chops, throws, falls, grappling, katas and leg sweeps that important self-defense techniques. Children who gain confidence in their skills will want to practice more and perfect their craft, leading to more physical activity in martial arts programs.