How Children Get Fit at the Playgrounds
Updated: Feb 10
Obesity is a national social beast that impedes about 15% of American kids within the age range of 6 to 19. In fact, this figure skyrocketed by more than four times since the late 1960s. Due to the heavy influence of the technology-savvy, fast food-infested, and thickly-pampered world, the lack of physical activities have brought obesity, a clinical condition, to an everyday hurdle turned epidemic.
Today, physical fitness is viewed as the solution and salvation to a nation breeding a generation having difficulty to move forward, literally and figuratively. The success of each country lies within the ability of its people to produce and reproduce too. While there may be an overwhelming number of studies promoting physical activity for kids, this pressing issue is rooted to the basics of life –rekindling the good old playground fitness time from the good old days. Funny how we all seem to overlook the time we spent during our childhood days crossing parallel bars as we burn calories, win friends, and get a good laughs. In spite of being drenched in sweat, we gain precious playground workout as we become attached to the routine without forcing it in our daily tasks. Playground workout covers energetic activities such as jogging, running, climbing, hopping, and jumping done within the perimeter of play spaces.
Getting inspiration and rousing doable and realistic action lies on the shoulders of every parent, teacher, guardian, and educator. Crafting creative and critical exercises to do in a playground should not be placed at the bottom of every kid or student’s to-do list. Instead, we must make children appreciate the beauty and value of physical fitness in the light of a seemingly no-brainer playground exercise.
SURVIVAL OF THE “BE FITTEST”, SUCCESS OF THE BEST
Being fit ensures that the bones, muscles and the immune system are in their most befitting shape. More so, staying active and fit decreases the likelihood of contracting chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and heart attacks –the fatal bedfellows of obesity. Through harnessing the potency of the forgotten playground physical equipment, kids are granted the chance to change the way they view their health without having to force it down their systems.
Andia Winslow shows fun and practical ways of spending quality time with your kids while getting in shape, too. Video from: YouTube.com
Parents and teachers may take time to watch and learn from playground fitness videos that are tested safe and effective with a few clicks on YouTube via the Andia Winslow’s channel. These videos are easy-to-follow and are sure-fire ways to take playground fitness to a whole new, yet still very familiar and highly nostalgic level. For parents and educators who are concerned about the safety of their children, commercial playground equipment are designed and built for kids or students to have fun with their every climb in fitness ladders or their every cross in parallel bars.
M is for MOVE, M is for MOTIVATE
An hour or so spent in going up and down a fitness ladder builds future leaders. On top of enhancing a fit body, physical fitness promotes a healthier sense of self. Children who find playground time fun are deemed as kids who are gifted with interpersonal skills –teamwork, empathy, and self-esteem.
As the saw of the body is sharpened, the saw of the mental and emotional spheres are shaped, too. In fact, the New York Times reported that kids who are physically fit are more able to receive and retrieve new streams of information compared to those who are leading sedentary lifestyles. More remarkably, a study about Nebraskan children revealed that there is indeed a link between better scores in English and math in relation to a child’s physical fitness.
Modern sets of playground equipment now come with learning spaces like tic-tac-toe panels which allow kids and grownups to bring their spatial skills to a grander view sans too much complication. Other playground facilities that feature simple and playful mazes and critical-thinking spaces allow kids to bond with other kids, as they learn to communicate better, and hone their hand and foot coordination as well.
Back then, children who have disabilities or those with special needs were not given accessible playgrounds for physical fitness opportunities. Healthier, unforced interaction and heightened inclusion is what accessible playgrounds offer. Indeed, playground training is something that must be taken into great consideration of all forms of learning institutions.
SKINNING THE SKINNY SCAM
The highlight of this Nebraskan study is found when it reported that better fitness is the factor that determines a better achievement score, while body size had an insignificant role in the picture. Results showed that while a child may be overweight, he or she scores better than kids who are less fit, still. This paints a picture of how playground fitness may point to a new movement that celebrates all body sizes while keeping every body mass at bay. The key is to get fit, and not to get thin, or skinny. Every time spent of getting in shape must be viewed as an opportunity to get a better version of every child, and not be confined to a shape or size dictated by the scale, the atrocious media, and the prevalent yet highly criticized “Barbie mentality” that says amen to attaining a bony, totally unhealthy physique.
At present, there is a steady and staggering increase in horrific stories of kids who are battling the bulge and those who succumb to suicide because of being bullied by their peers, and at times, their parents and teachers, too. Playground exercise or playground workout must equip kids, parents, and teachers with developmental skills leading to a better, brighter and healthier future.
Playground fitness must encourage kids of all shapes, sizes and even abilities (or the lack of thereof) to give physical fitness a good, fun, clean, and hopeful try –that it can be done, and it should be done, while there is still time. For more healthful and helpful information about crafting play spaces for your kids or students, get in touch PlaygroundExpedition.com, today!