Reading, Writing, RUNNING & ‘Rithmetic

September 19th, 2010 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I just read a fab article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine by Gretchen Reynolds on the intricate benefits of aerobic activity on kids brains. How I love to read something with such wisdom on a fine Sunday morning. For me it’s like hearing angels singing. The findings showed a significant difference in the fittest kids brains and of course better test scores and “ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply”. Kids using TV-based fitness games did not have improved test scores in a different study. Thanks Sherlock!!

You know when you boil down our obesity epidemic, the spotlight needs to be on the activity side of the equation to a greater degree, don’t you think?? Intake data show a slight elevation of calories compared to requirements which really point to the need to move more….a lot more. There is so much darn good evidence already about the benefits of exercise that I’m not sure why there’s such a state of inertia on the decisions around this. The movers and shakers need to get moving and shaking on policy change!!

When I think back to my good old days, I recall there being a few key influences for me to get active, be and stay fit. First and foremost was my parents’ good example. The next was a national program in Canada by ParticiPACTION called the “Fit 5 Program”. It was a novel 5-step program for kids my age (say 10′ish) to get started being active, then to work up gradually to an acceptable level of exercise. Also, I had a gym teacher who was a bit of a tyrant. Nonetheless he made us all read Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s book The New Aerobics. He also had us do a fitness test to shamed us all…but that’s another story.

I still have that book on my bookshelf today. Even though it’s a bit musty and the pages have yellowed (and the font is SOOO small) the wisdom holds true to today. They should republish using the title “The Old Aerobics in a New World”. I never would have guessed reading it back in the early 70′s that we’d be in such an unhealthy state from a fitness perspective today.

How much more proof do we need before the school infuses phys ed back into the curriculum?? For goodness sake, let’s get moving on getting moving already!!!

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