Taking Advice From Your Uncle That “Almost” Went Pro

I’m sure that we have all heard our fair share of stories about different “facts” on physical activity and health from our uncle who “could’ve played professional ball”, or even our middle school P.E. teacher that thought he had all the answers.

I’ve put together a list of common misconceptions or myths that people have attached to physical activity and healthy behavior that we all may have thought were true for sometime.

Myth #1: Children are so young and energetic, there’s no point in teaching them about physical activity at a young age. False

All adolescents are required to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.  In recent years, sedentary lifestyles have become more popular and less children are walking or cycling to school.  These lifestyles are being caused by the popularity of computers, television and video games at the expense of physical activity and after school programs.  Regardless of how young and energetic a child may be, it is always imperative that they are physically active for future habits

Myth #2: Kids get enough exercise in gym class and at recess. False

As bad as we may want this to be true, this is not the case.  The time children are exercising at school compared to the time that they are sedentary are vastly different.  The amount of physical activity that children are getting at school is not enough to instill healthy physical activity habits later on in their lives and there must be more of an effort to incorporate more movement and activity during their time at school.  This is important because kids spend most of their day at school and due to the recent popularity of sedentary lifestyles, the chances of kids exercising after they leave school are decreasing.

Myth #3: My child is big boned, so exercise and dieting will not help with their physical health. False

There is no such thing as big boned.  Nobody can be big boned, but you can be overweight.  Using your family history of being large people is not a valid excuse for your child not to get the required amount of exercise.

Myth #4: My child is overweight right now, but they will outgrow that ‘excess’ weight eventually. False

It is normal for children to gain weight throughout their childhood because it is a necessary part of the growth process.  However, depending on your child to outgrow their weight or activity issues is not a reliable way to make sure that your kid will grow up healthy with good exercise habits.  You cannot depend on routine growth spurts to compensate for a weight issue, and it is important that clinically overweight children get enough exercise during their youth.

Myth #5: A child’s education is more important than their physical health at a young age. False

Some parents believe that focusing too much on physical activity at a young age instead of education will lead to children being less devoted to their school work.  Studies actually show that students who reached daily exercise levels scored higher in math and reading over a two year study.

Myth #6: Our family isn’t naturally active, therefore my child will follow the same path. False

This one is clearly not true.  Just because your family leads a sedentary lifestyle, does not automatically mean that your child won’t want to exercise and partake in physical activity.  It is on the adults to educate their children about the benefits of being physically active and reaching the required amount of physical exercise.

Myth #7: Having kids vigorously exercise too early can be detrimental to their growth. False

This is a popular belief that many have believed to be true for a long time.  The truth is, the child’s body does not know the difference between lifting a weight and playing with their friends, their muscles will still contract in the same way.  If the myth were true, there would be tiny kids all over the country, like tiny farm children or tiny competitive athletes.

Myth #8: If a parent is healthy with good exercise habits, their child will naturally follow the same road. True

I bet you guys thought that this one would be false too.  Studies show that there is a direct correlation between parents with healthy lifestyles to their children leading the same ones.  If kids are exposed to being healthy at a young age and partake in these behaviors, the easier it will be for them to carry them on throughout their lifetimes.

In conclusion, there are a lot of myths floating around out there that have been said to be true for some time.  The reality of the situation is that physical activity is beneficial in all cases.  There are very few cases where physical activity can actually be detrimental to your health or unnecessary.  For more information from sources you can trust, be sure to check out my previous post, which contains a number of different sources with great information on the topic of physical activity in adolescents.  Also, if you are part of the twitter-sphere, you can follow Let’s Move! on twitter to keep up with the information that they are sharing daily.

 

 

 

 

The Active World Wide Web

Throughout my campaign, my goal has to been raise awareness on the lack of physical activity our children are getting in our country.  Adolescents should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Less than 3 out of 10 high school students are actually reaching this number and that is a very discouraging number.  My goal is for people reading these blogs to understand the power that physical activity has in helping maintain healthy communities and healthy lifestyles.

In order to get the word out about trying to improve these exercise habits, I am going to be sharing with my audience a few different forms of social media that I will be using.  Social media is one of the biggest things going on in our generation right now and if I can reach a large crowd of people through that medium, it can be very beneficial to the campaign.

Twitter:

Twitter is probably my favorite social media website out of all the many different ones out today.  Twitter is useful because it can get out short and succinct messages in a variety of ways.  The maximum character count on Twitter is 140 characters but you can also post lengthy videos and multiple pictures at once.  Twitter is also very easy to scroll through and personally, I use it in order to stay updated on certain news topics since people tweet about stuff as it is happening. The only drawback to using twitter is that it will take multiple posts to tell a long story where as with other social media platforms, you can do it all in one post.

Facebook:

Facebook is one of the most widely used social media platforms out today.  Today, there are more than one billion active users on Facebook.  Facebook can be a very helpful platform to use just for the sheer amount of people that access Facebook on the daily.  It is more common for your grandmother to have Facebook than a Twitter because the interface of Facebook is more user friendly thus giving it a larger amount of people who can use it with all of its features.  Also, you have the opportunity to do longer posts on Facebook so trying to tell a story or get out a message in one post is much easier.

There is a lot of stuff on Facebook that can be seen as misleading though.  In one of my previous posts, I warned of using Facebook as a source of information because of the opportunity for people to post incorrect information.  In my posts, I would make sure that the information I’m using is all coming from credible sources and that none of it will infringe on any copyright laws.

Vimeo:

Vimeo is a social media network I am not as connected to, but can still be very viable in getting out information about a topic.  Through using Vimeo, you can keep people updated in a different type of way by posting videos and giving people realistic visuals.  I have created a Vimeo account in which I have already posted a video addressing the topic I decided to campaign.  The video that I posted was just an introduction to the importance that I am trying to stress about stressing physical activity to children and the different programs that are out there.

I hope that these social media accounts can help spread my message in a different way other than just reading these posts. Also, feel free to follow any of my accounts!

 

Who Can You Trust?

The last post that I had, I explained the issue of adolescents not getting enough physical activity in the United States.  On the internet, there are a lot of different sources that give a multitude of different ideas on what should be done about physical activity in our country.  While there are some sites that have some great information, there are also sites that have information that can be considered misleading or inaccurate.  In this blog post, I will help the reader get a better sense of sources that they should trust, and ones that they should just kick to the side.

Trustworthy Sources:

  • CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

    The CDC is a great source for information on physical activity in children and also contains a lot of statistics for physical activity throughout many different age groups and races throughout the country.  It is very credible and gets its information directly from medical sources.

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  • WHO (World Health Organization)

    The World Health Organization is also another great source to find information on physical activity rates and statistics online.  The site includes a lot of information not just on children but also those of all ages.  The World Health Organization contains information on much more than just physical activity and can be used as a source for a number of different health issues.

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  • Let’s Move!

    Let’s Move!, is an organization that was set up by the former first lady Michelle Obama.  One of her main goals during her time in her position was to raise awareness in childhood obesity in America.  This site gives a lot of credible information on the state of childhood obesity in America and also mentions initiatives to get this issue under control.

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Kick em’ to the Curb

  • Wikipedia

    As we’ve all known for a long time now, Wikipedia is not to be used as a credible site for information.  Wikipedia can be edited by anybody with a computer and many people enjoy going on the site just to troll or even post ridiculous ideas.  

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  • Facebook

    Hopefully by now, we are all aware that everything you see on Facebook isn’t true.  Facebook is a great social media app for connecting people and allowing people to share videos and pictures.  But just like Wikipedia, anybody with an internet connection can have an account and post whatever they desire.  Something that your friend from the 4th grade posts about childhood obesity or physical activity probably wouldn’t be a good idea to hang your hat on for information.

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My main goal of this post was to help you decipher between where you should look if you are interested in learning more about low physical activity levels in adolescents or childhood obesity.   There are a lot of good sources out there that can help you learn more about this and I believe that when you land on a site with accurate information you will know it.  This is a topic that if you know what sites to avoid, you will be able to find a great amount of information for whatever it is that you are looking for.