We must seriously address obesity now. Sedentary children become sedentary adults. The time to learn skills for life-long health is infancy and childhood
Grand Rapids, Mich. (PRWEB) May 28, 2008
In a state where childhood obesity is particularly acute, the Indiana Association for the Education of the Young Child featured Doreen Bolhuis, founder of GYMTRIXTM. Bolhuis is a nationally recognized physical education professional, as well as the creator of GYMTRIXTM which is based on her 30 years of knowledge and practical experience.
"We must seriously address obesity now. Sedentary children become sedentary adults. The time to learn skills for life-long health is infancy and childhood," Bolhuis states. "If children do not develop motor skills, kinesthetic awareness, coordination and agility at a young age they are disadvantaged when faced with the challenge of physical participation."
Bolhuis challenged Indiana educators to action. This is also important because the National Association for Sport and Physical Education has released new guidelines for physical activity for infants and toddlers. Bolhuis explained the concept of "physical literacy," which is a comprehensive set of physical skills to engage in any physical activity. "It is our responsibility to create a planned curriculum for children because moving well increases the quality of life, improves motor skills, burns calories and stimulates new brain connections. Children become participators, not spectators" said Bolhuis.
The benefits of physical literacy are clear; physically it lowers blood pressure, improves immune function, and improves bone density. Cognitive benefits include; enhancing brain connections, developing new brain connections, problem solving and critical thinking. Physical literacy also improves your child's social skills affecting their confidence levels, understanding skills, and overall independence. Emotional benefits include; new experiences that are rewarding, the release of brain enhancers, experiencing joy, and developing courage.
Just a few years ago, Indiana ranked third in the nation for incidence of childhood obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also reported that Indiana students were significantly below the national average in daily participation in physical activity. Childhood obesity has extensive personal health consequences and significant financial implications.
"Childhood habits equal life-long patterns" said Bolhuis. She encouraged teachers, parents and caregivers to help children, "Get active. Get sweaty. Get in the game."
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