Get Kids Moving Again

Even before COVID-19, young people were increasingly sedentary. Considering that so many children got physical activity as part of the in-person school day, the problem has only intensified as kids remain in their homes and attend school virtually. Recently, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) brought together a group of experts to discuss how parents and virtual teachers can encourage kids to get active.

ACE's entire mission is to get people moving. "The evidence is overwhelming that if we can get individuals more active on a regular basis, there are profound outcomes in terms of overall health and well-being," said Cedric Bryant, CEO and chief science officer for ACE.

But despite the overwhelming evidence that supports the benefits of regular activity, very few Americans of any age meet physical activity standards.

In addition, Bryant emphasized that 17% of young people are affected by obesity—a condition that can lead to worse outcomes when one is sickened with the coronavirus.

"Anything we can do to get kids more physically literate, develop the ability, confidence and desire to move at earlier ages, they're more likely to maintain a physically active lifestyle over their lifespan," Bryant added.

How?

It's important to focus on fun and engagement to teach kids that movement is enjoyable. Bryant pointed out that not only does this set them up to lead a life of wellness, but also can help them deal with "the rigors and challenges we're facing in this shelters environment that we currently find ourselves in."

Some of the ideas offered by panel members include:

  • For younger children, a Painted Playground Toolkit can promote physical activity that helps further develop fundamental motor skills.
  • Mindfulness techniques can help address increased levels of anxiety in children, which can make it even harder for kids to get active.
  • At-home resources created by BOKS, a physical activity program designed to reverse the public health crisis of adolescent obesity.

Get a full roundup of ideas by visiting the ACE website at www.acefitness.org.



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