For children, physical activity enhances fitness and development. Kids are naturally drawn to remaining active through play. So why, then, do we need to “promote” physical activity in children?
Today, many kids are simply not as active as those from previous generations. Children ride in a car or a bus to school, experience less physical education, watch more television, play computer games, and have less freedom to play outside. As a result of this increase in sedentary behaviors, children are facing many health issues related to overweight and obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physical inactivity has contributed to a significant increase in the prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States since 1980. Childhood obesity is a public health concern for many reasons:
- Obesity in children is a major risk factor for many diseases including diabetes, hypertension, bone and joint problems, and cardiovascular disease;
- Overweight children have an increased risk of being overweight as adults;
- Adults who were obese as children have increased morbidity and mortality irrespective of adult weight;
- Overweight adolescents may suffer long-term social and economic discrimination.
The Forever Fit Summer Camp encourages kids to explore what they like to do. For some kids, physical activity may be viewed as a daunting experience and not fun at all. However, we want children to view physical activity as the freedom to play and participate in activities that they can enjoy throughout life. To accomplish our goal, we introduce children to new “active” opportunities each day. Some are fitness based—yoga, walking, dancing, aerobics, and swimming—while others focus on game play, incorporating new twists on simple activities such as scavenger hunts, fun competitions, and much more.