Encouraging Healthy Living for Our Youth
Bridging the Fitness Generation Gap
By Meghan Paradis, Physical Education Teacher, Fitness Instructor
City of Worcester, MA • Worcester Fitness
How many of the activities that we start in our youth, do we continue with as adults? We look back fondly to the days of swimming in the pool, playing games in the yard, and always looking for some type of different adventure. As children, we never concentrated on the things we were doing then as “healthy”…just fun!
However, studies have shown that what we learned as children we continue to apply into adulthood, including all levels of physical activity. The time to bridge the two is now; to teach our children the importance of life-long physical fitness, so that they will continue to embrace it as adults. “It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family,” said by Philip Green. As adults, we strive to find that balance of work, family, play, and health. In the hustle and bustle of this crazy adventure we call life, we tend to put our own health last. We find that there is never enough time in the day. Somehow, we are always too busy with the many lists we make of the “other things” we need to do first.
Enhance Overall Health
No matter how many studies we see that indicate how important maintaining our physical health is, we STILL tend to put it last. But what if we embraced it with our children together? Suppose we introduced our children to activities, and a lifestyle that they will continue into their own adulthood full of activities like fishing, skiing, golf, or bicycling, walking, yoga, or running? Fun activities not just for adults, but for people of all ages. Could we bridge childhood and adult activities together to enhance the overall health of both our lives?
Lifetime sports are activities you’re able to participate in throughout your entire life. Many of these activities don’t require much equipment, if any! “Promotion of leisure time activity is likely to become increasingly important in younger populations as people’s daily routines become more sedentary,” said by Science Daily. Physical Education programs throughout the country are embracing life-long fitness activities for our elementary, middle, and high school students. Although the programs continue to experience regular cutbacks, the momentum is established to introduce our children to new approaches to healthy living. However, this needs to be a joint effort and not simply an idea that is established in our schools.
Time to Focus
The time to start focusing on a healthy lifestyle, for our children, and for us as adults is now. As New Englanders, we are so fortunate to have the beautiful outdoors as a stepping stone to marvel at, but also to enjoy long walks or runs, skiing or snow shoeing or just to go exploring.
As wonderful as the outdoors is for some, as a member and an instructor at Worcester Fitness, I continue to be in awe of all the many offerings the club itself has; helping everyone reach THEIR goal to live a healthier life. From the state of the art facility, to the incredibly knowledgeable staff, there are many “extras” that lie within Worcester Fitness. They promote FAMILY and FITNESS, because that’s what THEY are all about. With the many swim instruction classes available for all levels and ages, swimming is a skill available for all to learn. Then there are many group exercise classes and activities that include small group instruction, running team, yoga, racquetball courts, and individual personal training all in one place.
The list of services and programs that Worcester Fitness offers goes on and on.
Go further in. It’s all there. Family. Positivity. Motivation. There is a world of healthy lifestyle options for our children and ourselves. It’s time to bridge the gap. The time to start is now.
Start together, finish together.