Thursday, April 15, 2010

Put that down, and Step Away!

I love training youth athletes! Why? Because they embrace challenges very well, even though sometimes they don't want to...but they seem willing as a group to push further and further. The only problem I have with this age group is the lack of mobility and strength due to SITTING Improperly, and bad Diets!

By this I mean, there are to many options for kids nowadays to stay indoors. Instead of going outside and being active with their friends, they are On-Line playing video games, or on the internet, or Texting, etc... You all know what I am talking about. I'm not to old (35), but when I was a child, my friends and I would be outside from sun up till sun down and sometimes later depending on the day. Or we where part of organized sports, so there was no sitting around until I was later in my teens and video games became popular in-home activities.

Why are people becoming more obeese in America? In my opinion, one reason is, that we have taken activities away from our kids and replaced it with fear. Fear, you may ask? YES! I know parents that won't let their kids out in front of their own house because they are afraid someone is going to take their they place the computer or a video game in their hands and say, Play. WTF, that's not playing, and it's not healthy for them either. Kids shold be able to have a safe environment in which to participate in different activities and not worry about their safety. I understand piece of mind, I am a father of 4. Our childrens safety is very important to my wife and I, but being a Coach, I also know how important it is for our little ones to be active daily.

Another problem facing our youth today, is Junk Food and Portion Sizes.
ATTENTION Parents: If you don't buy the crappy food your kid(s) is eating, they won't eat it! If you prepare healthy meals and have healthy snacks laying around for them to eat, they will be much healthier!

Simple, Yes, obvious NO! I debate with parents constantly about their childs eating habits and their food choices. I still can't understand why parents believe Sausage & Bacon is ok to feed to their overweight kids? When I have my clients write out a food list and they come back with Bologna Sandwich for Lunch and I skipped Breakfast because I woke up late, that this is un-acceptable! They get the point about half the time... I am always working on getting the kids to eat more often in smaller portions and showing them what is healthy vs what they have been doing.

Going back to the video game problems...all this sitting around creates horrible posture in many kids as well as alot of atrophy and muscle imbalance. It is hard to watch new clients come in that cannot perform a basic push-up or bodyweight squat. Their knees are collapsing due to the lack of strength in their inner quads and their CORE is terribly soft. So as a trainer, I must take extra time to help kids with technique and ques on how to move their own bodies so they don't injure themselves.

So to end this rant of sorts, please train your children on proper eating habits and provide them with healthy alternatives to sugary foods and drinks...also, allow and encourage them to get outside and participate in sports, or groups that perform activities instead of sitting in front of a t.v. or computer screen.