Youth fitness and sports are the key but sometimes parents panic about the possibility of sports-related injuries. But in all reality, exercise is an important health maintenance strategy for children and adolescents if the risk of injury is kept at a minimum with proper prevention measures. Often, an active childhood lays the groundwork for a lifetime of fitness.
Participation in athletics improves overall physical fitness, coordination, self-discipline, and allows children to learn the importance of teamwork. A sedentary lifestyle in young people can have negative health consequences both now and later.
The following are the benefits of exercise for children as listed by Dr. Theodore Ganley, MD, and Carl Sherman in their article “Exercise and Children’s Health” found in the February 2000 volume of The Physician and Sports Medicine Journal:
• Weight control:
According to research done in 1991, nearly one-fourth of American children are considered overweight, up 20% from 1981. Increasing physical activity along with reducing caloric intakes has been known as an effective weight-loss strategy, and helps with self-esteem and socialization. Overweight children are at an elevated risk of many health problems, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, growth hormone dysregulation, and respiratory and orthopedic problems
• Bone building: Physical activity and exercise increases bone mineral density, lowering the risk of osteoporosis when the child gets older. The skeleton appears to be most responsive to the effects of activity during growth.
• Cardiovascular protection: Although cardiovascular disease doesn’t appear until adulthood, risk factors can be present much earlier in life. High blood cholesterol levels in children increase the risk of hypertension in adulthood. A substantial amount of research suggests that children who exercise regularly, significantly reduce their blood cholesterol level.
• Mental health benefits: Exercise has a beneficial effect on the mental health of children. It can reduce anxiety, and depression symptoms, increase self-esteem, improve a child’s self-image, and help them cope with stress better.
Youth Fitness--Moving Our Children
Got A Few Minutes? If You Love Your Kids, You Owe It To Yourself To Watch The Video Below & See Why We Need To Get Our Kids Moving
The Drugging Of Our Children
Our kids are being pushed so hard today to achieve academically that there is just way too little emphasis on physical exercise and movement. Children of today are no different than children of yesterday. However, today, when children exude their natural tendencies to show high energy and exciteable behaviour we are now suppressing what is innately natural for them by diagnosing them with ADD or ADHD and prescribing pharmaceutical drugs, causing a huge imbalance in both their brains, physical activity and overall health. Coupled with our desires to have our children achieve at such early ages, the powers that be, our school systems, and local governments, in conjunction with pharmaceutical companies manipulative marketing tactics, we are being pressured to believe we need to put our children on drugs just because they show what is natural in their development. Energy and excitement in our children are now basically being punished by our society by forcing us to have our children go on mind altering drugs. In the end, it is our kids who are suffering from this epidemic our nation is facing. What will the long-term consequences be to these children when they grow up if they are kept drugged? Is being hyperactive or not being able to pay attention truly a disease of the body, such as high blood pressure or diabetes? Were all the children of generations ago immune to hyperactivity? How come it is only our kids who suddenly are diagnosed with this "disease"?
How much longer must we put up with being brainwashed by our government, pharmaceutical companys, school systems and doctors who prey on our fears to get us to spend our hard earned money to give you what is supposed to be an easy fix? Isn't it sad that our children are being forced to go on mind altering drugs instead of letting them explore their lives by moving, playing, having fun, learning, laughing and being a kid? When did being a child or adolescence become a disease? Were we diseased when we were kids? What is this disease called anyway, "growing up-itis"? Isn't that what part of the whole life process is for a kid, "growing up"? What children need is a balance of both physical activity to stimulate their growth and keep them healthy as well as solid academic learning. The same balance we were accorded when we were young. We weren't put on drugs because we wanted to play and be active were we? Why should our children be subjected to psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin, that are supposed to calm them yet are riddled with severe side-effects including insomnia, loss of appetite, depression, headaches, psychotic symptoms and even potentially fatal adverse reactions, such as cardiac arrhythmia? Ritalin is a stimulant that acts on the brain in the same way as amphetamines and cocaine. Putting children on an amphetamine derivative is a healthy solution? Putting a child on a drug that acts like cocaine on their young and forming brain is good medical practice? Read what Dr. Tim Kendall, a psychiatrist in England has to say in a recent report published in September 2008. Dr. Tim Kendall, a consultant psychiatrist for Britian's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, who helped write the guidelines of the estimated 365,000 children in Britain with ADHD, says there is an over-reliance on medicines and suggests it is too easy to prescribe the drugs and often there is not a balance between the risks and benefits. You can read the entire article by Dr. Kendall, "Drugs to Treat ADHD Should Be A Last Resort", by clicking on the blue link below. When you're done, come back and read the rest of my article.
Isn't time we lobbied for our schools to restore the balance of both exercise and academics? Instead of just drugging our kids, why not spend some time harnessing the energy they have and have them exercise 5 days a week in school like we did.
The balance has shifted so greatly within our generation to have our children achieve academically, that we are not allowing our children to get out there and experience life in their own way. Being drugged is not a way to experience life and explore their full potential. Help fight this insanity. Tell your school administrators you want physical education 5 days a week, every week of the school year. Tell your doctor, thank you, but no thank you if they tell you you're child needs psychotropic drugs. Tell the doctor, you know what, I think instead of drugging up my kid, I'm going to have them go outside and play and burn off all that excess energy, like we used to. Then, give your child a hug and tell them you love them.
Ok, I do concede that there may be some extreme cases where pharmaceutical drugs could benefit a child with severe sypmtoms of ADHD, but I feel that as a nation, we have fallen prey to whatever is easiest, and all too often because of this philosophy our children are being mis-diagnosed. The ramifications of these wrongful diagnosis has disasterous possiblities. Drugs to treat ADHD or ADD should be a last resort, first and foremost. While watching the video, you will understand why I am so passionate about this topic. Please feel free to drop me a line on my contact me page and discuss your thoughts. Please be polite when replying. Thank you.
I strongly feel that if we got our kids more movement our nation would not be facing this current crisis that grips the heart and soul of so many parents nationwide. So Lets Get Our Children Moving. Movement is the key to growing up strong and healthy. If our minds are academically superior, but our bodies are weak, prone to illness and injury, then what good is all that brain power and smarts if our bodies don't have the ability to live a quality, heathy life that both the brain and body can enjoy for years to come?
Please join me as I crusade to reach as many parents as possible and educate them so they can truly make an informed decision. Let's band together and keep our kids off these synthetic drugs so we can help foster and promote safer, stronger and healthier children by getting kids moving via physical activity to safeguard both their mental and physical health. We CAN make a difference. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Now sit back and watch the trailer to this shocking and very informative video I think every parent in America should see.
To watch the complete movie in it's shocking and eye-opening entirety, please
and check out the video entitled, "The Drugging Of Our Children". If you are interested in making a difference in the life of your child or someone you know, I urge you to click on the link, sit back and watch the entire movie. I'm willing to bet it will "move" you and you'll want to tell your friends to watch it too, so together we can help educate the world, one parent at a time.
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Todd G. Dattoli, M.S. Human Movement
ACE Certified Fitness Professional
Certified Nutrition Management Specialist
PEAK CONDITION FITNESS
Bedminster, NJ & Long Valley, NJ