Posted by: Aniek
Yesterday I shared a piece from the Independent on Facebook which reported British children as being some of the least active in the world despite recent recommendations (you can find the article here). It made for pretty sad reading. With child obesity levels on the rise and increasing levels of illness, it made me feel pretty low. The thing I found most difficult to process was the approach that’s being taken – as if the focus is solely on activity recommendations in minutes/day to counteract caloric intake to prevent weight gain. This is such a complex issue and is so much more than just energy in VS energy out.
A huge cultural shift is required.
How do we expect children to develop a love and passion to live healthily if we look at activity as a means to an end? We should be encouraging kids to try new things and be active for the LOVE of it.
You know how you often have a list of things to do and magically the thing you really enjoy doing always gets done first, whereas the tasks you enjoy the least stay on the list until tomorrow?
You add another task to it that you enjoy more than the remaining ones, and miraculously you find time for that ahead of the list-warmers that stay put once again?
Well that’s often what happens with exercise when we approach it from a necessary task point of view, as opposed to a FIND WHAT YOU ENJOY AND DO LOTS OF IT point of view.
Trying out different ways of being active also contributes to other aspects of a child’s life; it can help build confidence, provide different life experiences and introduce them to new friends.
It links in with what we spoke about last time – how your motivation for exercise can affect how well you succeed in living healthily and reaching your fitness goals. It’s not just energy in VS energy out.