Posts tagged under Exercise. Show all posts.
If you have a daughter, there’s good reason to be concerned about her future in sports and physical activity. The statistics are bleak and there might be worrisome consequences for your daughter’s health.
Girls move a lot less than boys
Research shows that only 4% of Canadian girls are getting enough daily physical activity to meet recommended health guidelines. Meanwhile, 9% of boys, more than twice as many, are getting enough activity.
Another survey showed that only 70% of girls regularly participate in sports in a year. For boys that number is 81%.
Follow the money…
Here’s an interesting fact. Statistics Canada says that sport participation rates for girls and boys get closer as household income rises. Basically, girls from low-income families are much less likely to be active than boys from low-income households.
Sports and activity reduce cancer risk for girls
All of this highlights a critical health issue. One review of data for females aged 12 to 24 suggests that their cancer risk is reduced by as much as 20% if they are physically active. Each regular weekly hour of physical activity during their teen years is associated with a 3% reduction in risk for breast cancer.
What to do?
It’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways we can help girls get involved and stay active. Check out these suggestions on how to support and encourage girls in sports and physical activity.
Beyond smoking and nutrition, physical activity is one of the few health factors that we can influence.
As parents, we can help our daughters to get the right start in physical activity so they never stop.
For more tips, check out Active for Life.
I rode my bike a lot this summer. Mostly I was trying to keep up with my 5-year-old daughter.
She completed her third Pedalheads course in early August, and this year learned some great safety rules. Less than a month later, with daily practice, she’s riding comfortably—and safely—on the road and we’ve discovered some new trails in our neighbourhood.
All of this was part of a master plan to have her ready to bike to school when she started kindergarten, and I’m proud to say that every morning begins with us pedaling the short 10 minutes to her new school.
I was surprised to read that in 2009, only 35%t of American children living within a mile of school walked or biked. That compares to 89% back in 1969.
Those numbers came from a recent report that reviewed information from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey designed to find out why parents didn’t allow their children to walk to school.
Reasons cited by parents for driving their kids to school included distance and weather, which are genuine concerns.
Many parents said they were worried about traffic and crime. But statistics reported in the study indicated that more children are injured and killed in motor vehicles than walking or cycling, and Statistics Canada shows that crime rates in this country haven’t changed since the 1970s.
Active & Safe Routes to School is the Canadian wing of an international effort to promote the ability of children to walk and bike to school. (The American association is SafeRoutes.)
Through education—of children, parents, teachers and administrators—and by helping to create routes to schools that are safe and patrolled, the organization hopes to increase the number of children who walk and bike every day.
For the kids, biking to school is energizing and empowering. And it’s an easy way to help them get enough daily physical activity, too.
Where we live—Vancouver—biking is a part of the culture. The weather is moderate enough that some families cycle everywhere they need to go year-round. Even during the winter month monsoons here, a simple rain coat (Mountain Equipment Co-op has great all-weather bike clothing) is all you need.
And my daughter has become very fond of her bike. She loves to be on it. It’s my hope that she becomes so used to cycling that she’ll never think to ask for a ride.
Blaine Kyllo has written for a variety of print and online publications including CBC.ca, the Globe & Mail, the Georgia Straight and Vancouver Magazine. Also an editor, producer and the father of two young children, he lives in North Vancouver.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your kids are getting enough physical activity. So we say put the ball in their court with a printable activity log that makes it easy for them to keep track. If your kids are very little, you can help them.
The suggested activities in the left column of the chart can be done in any combination and any length of time to get your children to the total of 60 to 90 minutes a day. Blank rows allow you to fill in your own activities. (Need more ideas? Visit our Activities section).
Whenever your children are active, have them record their times in the appropriate row and column. At the end of the day and again at the end of the week, add up the totals to see how they are doing (they will be flexing their math muscles as well!).
Challenge your children to increase the variety of activities and time spent being active each week. And make sure you celebrate achievements with them.
Idea: Keep the current week’s log visible in a communal space such as the fridge, and archive weekly logs in a binder so your children can keep track of their progress!
Download the activity log and get started today.
Canada is a great country. We have so much to be thankful for. But all is not perfect in our land. We are known to be a progressive and diverse culture, and in the bright-shining light of progression I speak to all the parents, administrators and educators of our fair nation.
We stand proud on our achievements in literacy and numeracy, for our children are among the most capable in the world when it comes to Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. No surprise really, as the 3 Rs have been long-standing pillars of our education system and our Canadian mindset. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, we measure our achievement of the 3Rs using mandatory provincial examinations. We know where we stand, and we can rightfully stand tall.
Despite these marvelous literacy and numeracy achievements, the health of Canadians, child and adult alike, is being insidiously eroded. Sadly, our Canadian way of life has become sedentary for over 95% of us and more than 65% are overweight and obese, leading to the unprecedented development of ‘inactivity diseases’ such as type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
The true north isn’t strong, it’s weak
This unhealthy lifestyle—our behaviours—is a reflection of our Canadian values and attitudes. Thank goodness for our health care system which has, up to this point, been able to manage the negative consequences of our collective sloth and gluttony. But our health care system is beginning to fail under the burden of our lifestyles.
We want our health care but we do not want our health!
How do we rectify this? Well, thankfully the health and physical education (HE/PE) objectives that are a part of our provincial education curricula can provide the foundation on which we can create physically literate children that actively participate. Which could save the next generation of Canadian bacon, so to speak.
Parents and educators must start to insist on the delivery of the HE/PE objectives, just as we have insisted for reading, writing and arithmetic. Perhaps this would form the foundation of a new Canadian culture, one that is active and healthy.
The physical education curricula for all provinces can be found here. Parents should become familiar with what our children are supposed to know and behaviours that they should exhibit as a result of being enrolled in our health and physical education system. You will be surprised to learn what the learning expectations are. Parents want their kids to be healthy. We all do. We may not yet have provincial examinations for physical literacy, but if we value what physical literacy gives to our children we need to measure it. Just as we measure the ability of our children to read, write and do math.
Like most provincial HE/PE curricula, Manitoba’s has strands on fitness, movement, safety, healthy lifestyle practices, as well as personal and social management. For your interest, here are some of the learning objectives of the Grade 6 curriculum from three strands: fitness, movement and lifestyle. What you’ll notice is that the objectives are quite bold. If kids were able to do the things that the curriculum sets out, they’d be well prepared for the future.
The problem is that schools aren’t delivering on the curriculum. Our children are not able to do everything that the system itself expects. As parents, we need to work cooperatively with our education system to actually deliver on these objectives.
The recreation and sport sectors need to become integrated into our school systems via the parent advisory council to complement the physical literacy education process. Our teachers know which children are in need of improved healthy lifestyle behaviours, and they can play a very important role in guiding their students toward suitable, physically active leisure pursuits in the community.
We don’t need to worry about who is already active in sport and leisure activities. We need to worry about who isn’t.
So, parents, please politely get in the face of your teachers, engage your principals and superintendents, recruit your parent advisory councils. Leave them in no doubt as to your hopes and needs for your children and our country: ‘Hey, my kids have to be physically literate and active!’
We’d never tolerate our kids practicing reading only twice a week because we know that regular reading is what builds literacy. So why are we okay with our kids only getting physical education and activity in schools with only a couple of sessions a week?
As parents, we can do our bit outside school time. But schools can make a powerful contribution during the day.
Let’s make sure that Canada, the true north, really is both strong and free.
Dean Kriellaars (BPE, MSc, PhD, CEP) is faculty at the University of Manitoba and a scientist at the Manitoba Institute of Child Health. Dr. Kriellaars has received two University of Manitoba Presidential Outreach awards for meritorious community work and recently was awarded the Campbell Award for longstanding community service. Provincially, he was recognized for his outstanding activities in building community wellness in the province of Manitoba through the Healthy Living Award.
A recent study in the US looked at what it takes to influence ordering habits. Was knowing calorie counts helpful? Was knowing how much exercise was required to burn it off helpful? The studiers took a group of similarly hungry people and gave them one of three menus. One had no info, the second had calories and the third had the amount of time walking it would take to burn off the food.
Those who knew the walking effort ordered 100 fewer calories. So, what’s at play here? Is it that our general human laziness is a powerful driver? Or are we aware that our time constraints may prevent us from being able to make the physical effort.
It doesn’t really matter. What is necessarily true here is that the preventative elements of nebulous calorie counts aren’t clear enough. We have known for some time that calories aren’t well understood and that each person’s intake and output will be different. We also know that there are other factors that affect metabolism.
Number of minutes walked is an easily understood marker that helps guide the right choice. So, I’m going to bully my top 10 list of foods that offer up too many useless calories. And publicly expose them for the time and effort suck that they are. Keep in mind that these numbers are in addition to the exercise you already get in your day.
1. Starbucks Venti Mocha Frappacino With Whipped Cream
510 calories or 94 minutes of brisk walking
2. Big Mac
563 calories or 99 minutes of brisk walking
3. Burger King Medium Fries
387 calories or 71 minutes of brisk walking
4. 7 oz Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips
1051 calories or 192 minutes of brisk walking
5. Large Shake 32 oz
1104 calories or 202 minutes of brisk walking
6. Nachos With Beef, Cheese and Beans (18 chips)
1707 calories or 212 minutes of brisk walking
7. Onion Rings (16)
552 calories or 101 minutes of brisk walking
8. Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s Stuffed Crust Pizza (1 slice)
470 calories or 86 minutes per slice of brisk walking
9. Cinnabon Caramel Pecan (1 bun)
1080 calories or 197 minutes of brisk walking
10. Chocolate Muffin
450 calories or 82 minutes of brisk walking
Want to have a drink with that? Here’s a list of your best bets in booze…
Waiting for the birth of your first child, you have hundreds of questions. You wonder about nutrition, sleep routines, feeding and even the best place to buy diapers. They all boil down to one thing: how can you provide your baby with the best possible environment to grow and develop?
Physical literacy is another key element.
In the first year, physical literacy refers to your baby developing basic motor skills. Long term, it means that your child eventually develops proficiency in a wide variety of fundamental movement skills that will promote an active, healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity is connected to better health, greater happiness, positive self-image, better school grades and improved social well-being in general.
Physical literacy begins the moment your baby is born. In the first year especially, regular movement is essential to healthy brain development. Your job is to stimulate and encourage age-appropriate movement in the right ways at the right times throughout the year.
The good news is you are already watching for the typical stages of infant development. You might not think that those milestones have anything to do with physical literacy, but they are key to your baby becoming a physically literate child. As your baby gets older, the physical skills they learn later will be built on the ones they learn in their first year.
Keep in mind that the age ranges specified below are flexible. Every child develops at different speeds and different times. If your child doesn’t seem ready for some of these activities, there’s a good chance you simply need to wait a bit.
Why it’s important: Your child is born with a grasping reflex from day one. However, she will actually begin to grasp things intentionally at around 3 to 4 months. The ability to grasp objects is an essential motor skill. It also requires the development of hand-eye coordination, and it needs to be stimulated and supported in infancy.
Tip: Make sure your child always has age-appropriate toys to encourage her to practice grasping.
Skill: Rolling over
Why it’s important: Your infant should be able to roll over onto his stomach between 4 and 6 months of age. Rolling over requires the development of basic core strength, and continued practice develops greater strength and coordination in order to progress to sitting and crawling.
Tip: Give your infant regular tummy time so he becomes familiar with the sensation of being on his stomach.
Why it’s important: Infants will generally be able to sit up unassisted at 6 months. Sitting requires core strength and coordination, which is developed earlier through regular tummy time.
Tip: When your infant starts to sit up on the floor, make sure that there are no sharp or hard obstacles present. Never leave her sitting unattended on beds, sofas or chairs. If she loses her balance and tumbles, serious injury can result.
Why it’s important: For the most part, infants begin to crawl between 7 and 10 months. It sometimes begins as an ‘army crawl’ with him pulling his body forward using his hands. Crawling requires your baby to have the strength to push himself up onto his hands and knees, and then maintain balance in that position as he propels himself forwards or backwards.
Tip: Encourage your child to crawl and reach by placing toys on the floor around him. While some infants don’t ever crawl, but instead go directly to cruising, don’t be in a rush for him to walk. Crawling is important for both motor and cognitive development.
Why it’s important: Cruising describes how infants begin to learn how to walk by holding onto furniture for support. Your child develops strength, balance, and coordination by cruising.
Tip: You should ensure that your child is safe to cruise by removing floor obstacles such as toys and cushions, and removing any furniture that has sharp edges or hard angles.
Why it’s important: At around 13 months, most children will be walking without support. That is, they will be ‘toddling’ as they take their first steps without assistance (that’s where the term ‘toddler’ comes from). 13 months is an average: some children may walk sooner, and some as late as 16 months.
Tip: As with cruising, you should ensure that your child is safe for walking by removing obstacles on the floor—toys and cushions—and removing any furniture with sharp edges or hard angles.
Jim Grove is a senior staff writer at Active For Life and a consulting editor to national sport organizations on physical literacy and Long-Term Athlete Development. He holds a teaching degree along with NCCP certification as a youth soccer coach. Married with three children, he has 15 years experience coaching children and youth ages 5 to 18.