Global surveys show that children are becoming less and less active. A study conducted at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, concluded that, in developed countries, children of all ages are at risk from declining physical activity levels—seen as early as 4 years old.
Did you know that adolescent obesity has been linked to depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, poor self-esteem, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, aggressive and destructive behavior, internet addiction, binging and purging, and other severe emotional outcomes (Reinehr 2018)? Emotional issues are often attributed to bullying and weight stigma.
Heart health is not simply about having a strong heart muscle; a healthy cardiovascular system requires a healthy nervous system that regulates the heartbeat and supports efficient functioning whether a person is feeling calm or stressed. A new study from Finland shows that more physically active and fit children have better cardiac regulation than those who are less active and less fit.
Nutrition professionals have long known that the beverages our youth choose to drink can hugely affect their diet quality and health. Three new studies drive home the point that the best option comes from the faucet.
What are you or your facility doing to support the next generation of fitness enthusiasts? Are you offering any kids’ physical activity programs at schools or other off-site community locations? Are you providing programs free to local youth—or, if fee-based, what are you offering and how are you reaching potential clients? Please share your success stories.
We want to hear from you! Email executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected]
Fitness pros may want to put more emphasis on kids’ fitness to ensure that more adults choose an active lifestyle and become fitness enthusiasts.
Here’s one more solid reason to inspire kids to exercise. The secret to maintaining cognitive fitness later in life may lie in getting active while young and staying active throughout teen, young-adult and middle-aged years.
If the influx of no-beef burgers into supermarkets hasn’t convinced you that plant-based eating has gone mainstream, then perhaps Monday’s fare at New York City school cafeterias will. Starting this fall, more than 1 million students enrolled in the city’s public school system are only finding vegetarian breakfast and lunch options in cafeterias as part of the Meatless Monday campaign, says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
We’ve long known that junk food marketing shapes the way our youth eat. After all, on any given day teenagers are exposed to a lot more advertisements for candy bars and soda than, say, cauliflower. Such is the power of food marketing on the growing brain. Now, a study in the April 2019 issue of Nature Human Behaviour has found that tapping into the rebellious inclinations of teenagers may get them to eat more salads.
Participation in team sports not only helps children improve fitness and social skills; it’s also linked with development of the hippocampus region of the brain, according to research published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging (2019; doi:10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.01.011). In adults, lower hippocampal volume has been associated with depression for some time.
IDEA Fitness Journal