Is your child getting enough physical activity?May 26, 2017 | by Akriti Sharma
With summer only a few weeks away, the school year and many popular sport seasons are coming to a close. Without regular physical education classes, after school activities, and sport activities and practices, will your kids be getting enough activity?
IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH ACTIVITY
The past few decades have seen a decrease in the amount of physical activity Canadians of all ages accumulate, and an increase in overweight-obesity and cardiovascular disease. The Canadian Health Measures Survey 2007-2009 compared fitness levels of youth to the 1981 survey and found a decrease in standards in tests of strength, endurance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness.
The benefits of lifelong engagement in physical activity cannot be overstated. There is indisputable evidence in the prevention of several chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hypertension, depression, and osteoporosis; and premature death.
Researchers have observed that high levels of physical activity at ages 9 to 18 significantly predict a high level of adult physical activity implying that someone who is continuously physically active throughout their childhood and adolescence is more likely to remain physically active through their adult life. Hence, youth physical activity affects the future of public health and its pursuit is extremely important in reducing the incidence of chronic diseases.
PRESCRIBED AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR YOUTH
The term physical activity is inclusive of supervised sport, dance and fitness, as well as unsupervised free play. The guideline below presents a minimum level that children should aim for.
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines states that “for health benefits, children (aged 5–11 years) and youth (aged 12–17 years) should accumulate at least 60 min of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.” This should include:
- Vigorous-intensity activities at least 3 days per week.
- Activities that strengthen muscle and bone at least 3 days per week.
|Moderate Intensity||Vigorous Intensity|
WHY ADDING STRENGTHENING ACTIVITIES IS IMPORTANT
Weight training, as well as running and jumping helps increase bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by increased bone fragility and risk of fractures that is especially prevalent in women (at least one in three women compared to at least one in five men).
Youth athletes (age 11-17) may be meeting the minimum requirements of physical activity but not doing enough to strengthen muscle and bone. They should be supplementing their sport training with a strength and conditioning program to build strong muscles, tendons and bones, and to reduce the chances of injury and disease later in life.
YOUTH PROGRAMMING AT FORTIUS
SportSTRONG is small group training program for youth (age 11-16) with a holistic approach based on their developmental level and sport needs. Athletes will develop a foundation of stamina, strength, movement efficiency and general physical literacy that will contribute to more enjoyable and resilient sport performance in later years. Learn more >>