Health and Fitness Education for Children

Do you know why it is difficult to teach health and fitness lessons to children?

Health and fitness have become major concerns for parents as well as school administrators and teachers across the world. With the obesity epidemic wrecking havoc with the health of young kids, the issue has garnered a lot of attention and a lot of emphasis is now being placed on improving the fitness and health of school kids. Here are a few key reasons that have a bearing on the teaching of health and fitness.

  1. Not getting the right kind of support at home or school

When children don’t get the right kind of support at home, it becomes very difficult for teachers to manage their health and fitness through school programs alone. The fact remains especially true for grade and middle school kids as they aren’t always independent enough to make good food choices on their own. It is a bit easier to impart such teachings to older school kids though they too may not be able to break free of unhealthy eating habits that they have learnt at home. Similarly, kids that come from very health conscious homes may find it difficult to sustain the same attitude towards healthy eating and fitness if their school curriculum doesn’t include sports and physical activities and if they only have access to unhealthy food and snacks in the school campus.

  1. Lack of a fitness culture

Studies have shown that regions and cities that lack a proper fitness culture find it more difficult to impart health and fitness lessons to school kids in comparisons to cities and regions that were more sporty” in comparison. Fitness culture mainly refers to the popularity of weight loss programs related activity among the general population of a region. Cities that favor outdoor physical activities like rollerblading, biking, hiking, surfing etc. are more likely to have healthier and more fitness oriented school kids than cities whose population prefers a more sedentary lifestyle.

  1. Lack of sports infrastructure

Sports infrastructure and sports leagues for school kids allow them the chance to develop a healthier and more fitness oriented lifestyle. It is observed that regions with limited sports tournaments for school kids generally had less fit children in their schools while regions with healthy sports tournaments and leagues had fitter school children on an average.

  1. Lack of healthy food options

A lot of people associate health food with higher priced and specialty foods. However, when we talk about school kids, healthy food constitutes nothing more than mindful food choices at home and at school. School kids that brought bagged lunches from home or had access to healthier food and snacks at school are more likely to eat more mindfully for the rest of their lives. However, schools that offer unhealthy snacks like high fat fries and overly sugary snacks and drinks are more likely to have overweight and obese children. Also, children hailing from families that indulge in unhealthy eating habits are also likely to maintain those poor food choices through their lives.

  1. Limited school budgets

One of the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic in school children is the sheer lack of budget for fitness and sports departments in schools. Schools that have these financial cuts to deal with often opt to keep only the most popular sport going and cut all the other programs. Since only a very small fraction of the kids at the entire school are likely to make it into these teams, the percentage of children at the school that are healthy and fit also dwindles.

  1. Parents with no time for outdoor activities

It is a well known fact that kids pick up a majority of their habits from the environment that they are raised in. parents that work two or more jobs or those who simply are too busy to indulge in outdoor activities with their children ever so often inadvertently pass on an unhealthy lifestyle to their children. Similarly, parents that is conscious about fitness and health and who make an effort to get out of the house often and indulge in some form of physical activity end up imparting a love of fitness and a healthy lifestyle to their kids.

By Alia Haley | [email protected]
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