Evidence is mounting that fit kids perform better than their unfit peers on a variety of learning tasks.
In a study conducted recently at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, researchers evaluated children as they performed reading and language comprehension exercises while wearing electrode caps. Fitness levels varied among the children, and these devices allowed the scientists to evaluate brain activity.
Most people are aware that children in developed nations are experiencing epidemic levels of obesity, and that this problem is, in large part, associated with physical inactivity. However, the standard fitness recommendation to get more cardiovascular exercise may not be the best advice for overweight, underactive children. The fact is, very few childr...
Today’s children face numerous stressors, growing up in a globalized world, surrounded by electronic media and confronted with pressures from school and increased competition in multiple aspects of life. The authors of a review article published in Frontiers in Psychiatry (2014; doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00035) believe that yoga practice may help youth cope with these stresses and contribute to life balance, well-being and positive mental health.
It seems that debit card purchases promote the same type of frivolity in children as in adults, but when cards are swiped to pay for school lunches, the impact goes deeper than just free spending. Kids’ food choices also become foolish, according to a study that appeared in the January issue of Obesity (2014; 22 , 24–26).
Here is another reason to encourage children to maintain a healthy weight: According to a Kaiser Permanente Southern California study, children who are overweight or obese are at significant risk for developing hyper- tension.
Preadolescence is a time of major change and growth, bringing psychological, physical and social shifts for boys and girls alike. Caught between the carefree days of childhood and the first throes of being a teenager, “tweens” (roughly aged 9–12) are a force to be reckoned with. Like many other populations, preadolescents are suffering from lack of exercise, which threatens to chart a course toward obesity and disease.
It is well known that the United States faces a childhood obesity epidemic. In fact, 81% of respondents in a poll on the topic considered childhood obesity a serious concern and two-thirds believed the problem was getting worse (Hassink, Hill & Biddinger 2011). Actually, national surveys show a stabilization of childhood obesity rates and even small declines in some localities (RWJF 2012).
Personal Trainer: Marc Coronel, owner of Open Mind Fitness
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut
Rewriting History. At 12 years of age, Aja was becoming one of the many overweight and obese children in the U.S. He preferred the PlayStation to playing outside, and the only movement he experienced was during physical education class at school. But that didn’t seem enough to combat his relative inactivity and fondness for sweets.