We don’t have to tell you that too many kids aren’t getting the exercise they need. In fact, childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise, and much of that can be attributed to too much high-calorie, low-nutrition food and a lack of exercise. Is it an epidemic as the news stations warn? Yes. Absolutely. They got it right this time.
Kids are getting more and more sedentary, no doubt about it. But we’re here to tell you that it’s usually not their fault. (Spoiler alert: adults are often to blame.) Let’s take a look at how exercise has been taken away and why the Junior Boots programs at our kids’ gym might be exactly what they need to get moving.
Schools Are Cutting Back On Exercise
Arts programs and music programs are constantly under attack as schools are forced to conform to standardized tests. After all, kids aren’t being tested in music and art, so they’re often the first to go.
Unfortunately, there’s also an attack on anything having to do with exercise. This means that recess has gone from three times a day down to two. Gym used to be every day, but it’s dropped down to a single day a week in some schools.
This strategy of cutting exercise has backfired. Many studies have shown that exercise during school actually improves comprehension in student. In other words, exercising more and spending less time in class actually improves test scores.
How is this possible? It turns out that taking breaks is actually good for you; that’s why recess was ever a thing in the first place! It reduces stress, improves social skills and conflict resolution (something we focus on in our own gym for kids), and increases focus. Exercising actually improves brain function, because the mind and body are much more connected that we used to believe.
Our kids’ fitness programs in Vernon Hills bring back what too many schools are taking out. We’ll talk about it more in subsequent blogs, but you can do the research yourself and find out that exercise will help the mind as well as the body.
Air Conditioning Feels Good
This is a tough one to fight against, because when it’s hot most of us want to feel cool! But sweating is a good thing. Some benefits you’ll hear are complete hogwash, but others have been proven to improve the health of the skin. You’ll find that our kids’ gym is a great place to sweat, even if it is air-conditioned!
Parents Are Afraid
Here’s the difficult one for most parents to get past. Parents are, and should be, protective of their children. And there are bad people out there, no doubt. But you also have to remember that there are 57,000,000 million children in our country under the age of 13, and the unexpected disappearance of even one can make national news. And because the news makes such a big deal about it, it becomes a “sampling error,” where parent ascribe too much importance on events that have a minuscule chance of happening.
Should you protect your kids? Yes. But giving them information about how to avoid bad people is an even better way to keep them protected than to keep them indoors. And when you want the best of exercise and a safe place for them to be, Hot Ground Gym is the answer.
Activities Are Sedentary
From the moment The Shadow radio program of the 1920’s kept kids inside instead of sweeping the barn, adults have complained about kids being too sedentary. Even before that we’re guessing there were some bookworms that adults complained about.
Of course, the 1950s changed all of that as TVs entered the home, because there’s just something about a glowing screen that attracts eyeballs young and old alike. But…since there were limited channels for the next 25 years, it was more likely that kids would go outside once the news came on all three channels at the same time. Of course, Pong video game systems of the 1970s and Nintendo of the mid-80s kept many a kid indoors when they should have been outside.
Which brings us to today. Kids seem to always be on screens, whether it’s in front of the television, on an iPad, or on their phone (and many times more than one at a time). “Those lazy kids!,” am I right?
But hold on a second. Who bought them the devices? Who lets them be on their phone for hours on end? Worst of all, who’s teaching them to have something electronic at arm’s reach at all times? If you confront them about the amount of time they spend, don’t be surprised if it turns into a 1980s drug PSA when they say “I learned it from you!”
So parents, please consider this. Even if you don’t sign your children up for the Junior Boots programs at our kids gym, make sure your kids are getting exercise. Send them out to ride bikes, make them play a sport, and fight for more recess and gym class. Your kids are worth it.