Tag Archives: sport

Some posts from similar causes

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This post will briefly show you as readers some of the interesting work from people with similar views to mine. There are a number of interesting articles to read, and even a video to check out. If you have anything else to add, or some even better posts for me to read then link them below!

The first is a blog titled ‘Are Our Young Kids Sufficiently Active?’ from the Australian Council for Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER), which looks at some statistical guidelines and assesses the current situation. The concept of having children choose activity over inactivity resonates with what this blog is all about. For more, check it out at – http://www.achper.org.au/blog/blog-are-our-young-kids-sufficiently-active

A video called ‘5 Extra Years’ has circulated YouTube for some time now. It is a powerful clip, meaning exactly what it says – Asking children what they would do with 5 extra years to live. The description details that the next generation are the first to be outlived by their parents. Increased inactivity is attributed as the main cause of this problem, even greater than smoking and other lifestyle factors. Well Worth a look:

Ready Steady Go Kids is a brilliant exercise program for younger children (2-6 years). It teaches the fundamentals of sports, exercise, general healthy lifestyle and more in a supportive and non competitive environment. With over 170 locations now in Australia it is one of the fastest growing programs. For more visit – http://www.readysteadygokids.com.au/

Remember to leave your opinions/thoughts/questions below.
-J

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Help the cause

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For the past few months this blog has aimed to help parents and guardians make better choices for their respective children. Despite getting some very encouraging words from some parents, it would be amazing if this blog could reach out to more people.

Previous posts have looked at things like:

– General benefits of exercise for children
– The previously unheard of benefits (effects on mental health e.g. depression, ADHD, academics etc)

– The pivotal role of you as your child’s role model

– The sometimes neglected impact of diet

– Issues such as compulsory school sport, and whether your child can also play video games

– Finally, my personal story and a few things I enjoy

 

If any of these things have been beneficial to you and your children, share the blog, spread the word. This page has a small following and it would be awesome to expand the information to reach a wider audience.

Thanks again
-J

You decide – Compulsory sport for primary schools?

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This post will deal with a topical debate which continues to grow in stature. Should sport be a compulsory part of a primary school students life? Currently, the new 2014 health curriculum has no requirement for sport. In previous years whereby sport was a compulsory part of all Aussie schools programs, it was seen as a bit of a relaxing time for teachers and students, and perhaps not taken as seriously as it should be.  Lets look at both sides of the argument. Those against compulsory school sport argue that many children simply have other hobbies and interests they would rather pursue their time with, and we can’t force sport and games down kid’s throats.  A previous post I made about pushy parents cites one reason for many children’s early disdain for competitive sport, but school sport or playtime shouldn’t fit under this umbrella, and should be time for children to play in an uncompetitive environment with the emphasis on health and fun, not competition.

By not making school sport compulsory kids lose out on multiple aforementioned life benefits, as well as basic fun and a way to break up the classroom routine. Not every student loves science and math, and the same will go for p.e, however we need to find a way to make the process as enjoyable and fruitful as possible for kids. By simply neglecting the benefits of physical education in schools, for me it being lazy and ignorant, and not allowing kids to receive the most truly holistic education they can.  A formal push for compulsory school sport was very recently delved into in Victoria. For those interested; (http://www.vu.edu.au/news-events/news/compulsory-school-sport-on-the-agenda)

Feel free to leave your thoughts below!

-J

Don’t hate the game

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Whilst the purpose of most of my posts is to discourage inside activity and promote the great outdoors, when I stumble across something interesting I feel I have to share it. A blog post last year from a page called ‘Active Sydney’ (http://activesydney.wordpress.com/) provides an interesting read on potential benefits of gaming of the indoor variety. There post ‘Positive effects of gaming?’ discusses how some aspects of video games and so forth can benefit kids of all ages, with backing from reputable sources to legitimize the article.

Whilst many parents would already think to implement an idea like this, I think it could very well be a positive idea to let kids have some video game fun in there free time, granted they have earned it through enough outdoor play. The Active Sydney post discusses how a small session of gaming every now and then helps kids think through situations, and learn core values and lessons, similar to the ones developed in team sports for example. “Co-operation, teamwork and determination”, to name just a few skills that can be honed and developed in your child from an effective balance of predominately outdoor play, with a little fun inside as a reward. It is important to remember this is not to replace the outdoor play, as that is still by far the most important aspect, and what this blog aims to promote. This post, however, is merely looking at the advantages of other peoples thinking, as we aim to include and understand the opinions of all interested parties. – J

Depression and exercise

Nobody wants to have an unhealthy child in any sense of the word. Outdoor activity aims to prevent children from being unhealthy physically, allowing their bodies to develop in a way which contributes to a healthy life. However, the link between your child running about in the backyard and their future mental health is stronger than you may think.

A Psychosomatic Medicine Journal study analysed thousands of children in the seventh and eighth grade. The study found quite a severe level of difference between those who had a general exercise pattern and those who didn’t, in terms of depressive mood symptoms. It has been known for some time that exercise is a good thing for treating people with depression, however the extent of its benefit becoming more and more clear. Young people with good exercise routines, built on a foundation of outdoor play have a better chance of being a healthier and happier adolescent. It starts with you as a parent, encouraging outdoor play. Hopefully these patterns will last through your child’s teen years, and the level of healthy, happy kids rises manifold. – J

Pushy parents

Everyone has seen and heard ‘that’ parent. The one who always goes out of their way to berate their child about a mistake he or she makes in a junior sport game. Being overly pushy towards a child can give them bad feelings about sport and exercise as a whole. The exercise routines formed as young children shape your health as you grow into an adult. If these moments are connected with negative feelings and anxiety, it can lead to an unhealthy adulthood with little exercise compared to the population average. So always remember, they are children, they want to have fun and not be belittled. If you want to shout abuse and see perfect skills on a sport field, go see the pro’s live. Let your children find their feet and have positive experiences with exercise.

Personal Favourites

So while much of what is written in this blog discusses the science of what is beneficial, and recommendations for children and so forth, I thought something that might be of some value to my few readers is an interpersonal account of what I found were my best experiences of playtime. As an active person, engaged in a number of organised sports as well as someone who still enjoys their fare share of spontaneous play time, I feel somewhat able to give a reliable opinion on these matters.

Firstly, in terms of organised sports; their are two standouts. The first of these is ‘Auskick’. This is a program which has ran for a number of years, introducing primary school children to not only Australian Rules Football, but most importantly children’s first experiences with teamwork and a little competition. The program regularly visits schools and was my absolute favourite organised sport all throughout primary school. Visit http://www.aflauskick.com.au for more information.

The second recommendation is one which has improved insurmountably over the past few years, and that is organised soccer (football). The introduction of small-sided-games, meaning less players per team, creates an environment of participation, fun and most importantly close friendship building amongst kids. As a coach of children of this game myself, I can give a first hand account for its benefits. See the various associations’ websites for more info on how to sign your child up to play.

For the non organised, playground style fun; some of the most fun playtime I had involved the moments where my parents let me and my friends come up with our own fun. It’s perfect to use the tips I, and other blogs give to nudge your kid in the right direction, however the best playtime fun comes from the imagination. Games like tip, hide and seek, complex and nonsensical ball games that we made up, and so forth. So remember, the blend between playtime and organised fun is key, a healthy balance of both will lead to an active, healthy and happy kid for years to come. – J

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