With health threats from overweight and obesity still looming, physical activity in schools continues to be a hot button. How do U.S. children rank when it comes to physical education and exercise? Here are some highlights from the 2012 Shape of the Nation Report: Status of Physical Education in the USA:
14% of students did not participate in at least 60minutes of physical activity on any day during the 7 days before the survey.
71% of students were physically active at least 60 minutes per day on fewer than 7 days during the 7 days before the survey.
That 98-pound weakling may want to hit the gym if he hopes to live a long life. A study published in the British Medical Journal (2012; 345: e7279) suggests that male adolescents without much muscle strength may earn early death in adulthood.
The large study included 1,142,599 Swedish males aged 16–19 who were followed for 24 years. The primary focus was to determine whether muscular strength had any impact on mortality rates. Premature death in this study was considered death before 55.
The Federal Trade Commission has released its Review of Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents, and the conclusions indicate that there is still much to be done if industry self-regulation of food marketing to children is to become an effective way to protect the health of minors. The 2012 report is a follow-up to the FTC’s 2008 report, which Congress requested in response to dramatic increases in childhood obesity rates.
Four of the Marketing Methods
When viewing food logos, obese children show less activity in regions of the brain associated with self-control than do their healthy-weight counterparts, reports The Journal of Pediatrics.
Researchers from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and the University of Kansas Medical Center tested youth aged 10–14, using both self-reported measures of self-control and functional magnetic resonance imaging, which tracks blood flow as a measure of brain activity.
To help address some of the problems facing youth today—physical inactivity, diabetes and obesity, among them—the Gray Institute has launched the not-for-profit Free2Play.
Utilizing the institute’s Applied Functional Science™, Free2Play aims to improve “movement literacy” and athleticism through “progressive” lesson plans available via online learning with on-demand access. Free2Play doesn’t replace health and fitness programs or curriculum.
As a personal trainer, you may recognize this scenario:
“Mary” is a fictional 30-year-old woman who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis soon after her 21st birthday. She is often tired in the morning, even when she gets a full night’s worth of restful sleep, which is rare. The fatigue is unpredictable, gets worse throughout the day and tends to be triggered easily. Muscle spasms and weakness in her legs make it difficult for her to walk long distances.
Since many schools no longer offer physical education, a lot of fitness professionals are volunteering their time before and after school. This is a great (and needed) community service, but unless you have experience working with kids aged 7–11, you may not be fully prepared for the challenge of corralling them for a cool-down. When kids are having fun, they don’t want to stop, listen and be quiet. The transition from a workout to a cool-down can be tough. That’s why you need a plan.
The following activities offer many creative ways to rein in kids.
With the Baby Boomer population aging, movement professionals have to become more prepared to meet the needs of older adults. And while it may be tempting to think seniors need less when it comes to program development, clients of advanced age actually need more.
It’s not enough to modify the intensity or safety of their fitness programs. It’s also essential to understand how the mindset that older clients bring to a session—in this case a fear of falling—can influence their exercise needs.
Suspension exercise (SE) is a popular way to get fit for many people, and it’s no secret as to why. This method of exercise, where an apparatus attached to a single overhead anchor point supports the hands or feet, offers numerous benefits. Due to its popularity and the results people see from performing SE, programming has evolved to a point where fitness professionals are introducing it to their older-adult clients in the 65–80 and older age range.