According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years."
In a world that is progressing so rapidly with advancements like technology it is concerning to see that the health of our nation's children is retrogressing. Children who are overweight are more likely to experience diseases like type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer as adults. Later in life they suffer from heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis.
Like many problems that face our nation, education is a great solution. Unfortunately many schools have pulled regular physical education classes from the curriculum and recess is very limited. It is time to take matters into our own hands and pay attention to what makes a difference in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for our children.
Since children spend a large portion of time at school, and this is the foundation for their futures it is important to make the experience one that teaches children tools for a healthy lifestyle.
The CDC website suggests that schools should, "provide ample opportunities for all students to engage in physical activity outside of physical education class." This is where extracurricular activities play a vital role. One of the elementary schools that offers YogiDance has a well run after school enrichment program. This allowed us to easily offer their students the opportunity for physical activity right after school.
If your child's school does not yet have after, or even before school programs, talk to your principal about how to offer this to the students. Instead of your child coming home to turn on the TV or computer have them stay for exercise. They were sitting for the majority of the day; it is important to their development to encourage movement. A video testimonial from a mom whose son attends an after school class says it is a great transition from all the sitting, take a look!
The New York Times featured an article from a study by the World Health Organization and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine stating that, "More than 80 percent of young people ages 13 to 15 worldwide are not getting the hour a day of vigorous exercise recommended for their age group. Unsurprisingly, North America and Europe lead the world in not exercising, with 43.3 percent of Americans..."
Children learn from example, and it is important to demonstrate the value of exercising by encouraging outdoor play and participation in physical activities. In YogiDance class we use hula hoops specifically because of the good workout and the fun time they get from doing it. In today's society being well rounded is what will make a difference and show improvement in your child.
Eating healthy, exercising and practicing yoga to help with stress and emotions are all linked to reducing obesity in today's children. According to information about emotional eating on HealthyChildren.org, kids who are obese often eat in response to their emotions and how they are feeling. Yoga is a special exercise that teaches children tools to handle their emotions in a healthy manner. This is why there are a growing number of schools implementing yoga classes into the curriculum. Calmingkidsyoga.org did a study of yoga in one public school that showed a significant increase in anger management after only 4.5 hours of yoga practice.
There are many values to these practices, but knowledge goes only so far without implementation. Bring your children to a class; start moving now!