Sports and Fitness – Do They All Stack Up?

Live, laugh, and be active! This is the motto many preach for today’s kids, so why is this generation statistically overweight and, for the first time in recorded history, have a shorter life expectancy than their parents? The theory behind the motto is great but the interpretation can be a little grey for many parents regarding physical activities for their kids.

All parents want what is best for their children’s health and well being, so when it comes to choosing a sport or activity there are many things that need to be considered, for example: type of sport, physicality of the sport, limitations and attributes of your child.  All sports are not equal. It may not be enough for the average child who plays sport as something to do with friends on the weekend and once during the week at practice.

Let’s face it, cricket, lawn bowls (yes I said it!), golf, and even my beloved baseball, during the game itself, none of these do a lot for the average Joe from a cardiovascular standpoint.  Whereas soccer, cross country, ultimate Frisbee, and football, the games themselves are a great workout and can meet your child’s daily and then some!

Does this mean that cricket, lawn bowls, golf, and baseball are no good?  NO WAY! What it does mean is that extra work is needed to meet your child’s fitness needs compared to playing soccer, cross country, ultimate Frisbee, or football.  It’s always great to remind ourselves that sports do not make kids fit but rather kids make kids fit.  Eat clean, exercise a lot, and play sport. It’s okay if you are someone who has to exercise more than your friends, that’s life.  Play the sport your heart calls you to play, just know that fitness outside of the sport really is a must if you want to get the most out of it.  You get out of your body only what you put into it.

With all the nightmare material video games and confronting television, our kids are being forced to grow up sooner.  Having them learn the real importance of healthy living and physical fitness and dedication to one’s body at an early age is hardly forcing them to grow up sooner in a negative way. So next time you speak with your kids, ask them what they really want in life and speak to them about the importance of an active life.  After all, your kids are the ones who will be taking care of you when you are old and grey.  Let’s make sure they are strong enough to do so.

“A line that makes tremendous sense to me and is a motto we should all live by and that is “move well and move often” – Anthony Bordman

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