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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Long-Term Benefits of Fitness for Kids

Much has been said about why American children are becoming overweight and obese in frighteningly large numbers. The simple version of the answer is two-fold: 1) kids aren't getting enough exercise and 2) kids aren't eating the right foods.

To address the exercise issue, most schools offer P.E. (physical education) classes. Unfortunately, these classes are not every day for most students. Also, the quality of the classes varies from school to school. One of my young students, who attends a fairly well-regarded elementary school, recently told me that her entire P.E. class consisted of nothing but running laps for the entire session. I hope she's kidding, because that does sound boring...

Obviously, ensuring your child exercises regularly will result in many short-term benefits such as improved mood, focus and sleep cycles, a healthy weight, etc. However, not enough parents are aware of the long-term benefits of exercise. Children who participate in regular high-impact exercise are less likely to develop osteoporosis as adults. Exercise in childhood also lessens the risk of diabetes and/or obesity later in life. Just as parents have a responsibility to send their children to school to prepare them for the academic and career challenges they'll face as adults, they also have a responsibility to ensure their children are fit and healthy so they can avoid unnecessary health problems later in life.

Fitness is one of the 9 life skills we teach at our school. Kung Fu is an excellent source of exercise for all ages.

-Kung Fu Los Angeles staff