How Martial Arts Can Help With Child Obesity
According to World Health Organization, childhood obesity has increased dramatically since 1990. This presents a serious public health problem, as obese children are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases or diabetes at a young age. Furthermore, childhood obesity has negative effects on mental health, as it’s connected with a number of psychosocial problems (such as depression, lack of confidence and social engagement).
Only a couple of decades ago children lived their youth in a much different way than today’s generations. They spent more time outside the house, played more and enjoyed outdoor activities. In the changed circumstances, where modern and appealing electronic devices are easily reachable, kids get drawn to them and, without even noticing, spend hours and hours just sitting and playing with the devices.
Even though modern gadgets stimulate kids mentally, they lead to too much sedentary time. Consequently, that leaves little or no time for physical activities. This fact, combined with an unhealthy diet (studies have shown that kids consume a lot of calorie-rich food and drinks) has produced a whole new generation of overweight children. The good news is that obesity is preventable.
The experts recommend a change in a child’s everyday life – increasing bodily activities and creating healthy feeding habits. The key factors that lead to healthy weight are regular motion and exercise, which are natural for children, as they enjoy them rather than see them as a burden. That is why martial arts can be useful when it comes to childhood weight loss. Another advantage is that with a good martial arts master, children learn positive values, such as discipline and respect, together with a comprehension of their body and mind.
Other children in the same group influence their teammate’s physical behavior, so they set a positive peer pressure. One other advantage of martial arts is that, comparing to other sports, the main focus is on the individual and not on the whole team. In other words, if a child has trouble with learning martial arts techniques, it has no impact on others in the team, so he or she will not feel exposed or uncomfortable. Success is measured by the individual qualities and it depends on their effort and dedication, which strengthens the kid even outside the courses.
Martial arts require various types of exercises that include strength and cardiovascular training. This will strongly stimulate a child’s physical development and, among other benefits (a positive effect on the spine, proper breathing), prevent obesity. Finally, children taking martial arts classes have more self-control and self-respect as they transfer these values to other aspects of life and they handle stress more successfully.
Martial arts programs have multiple positive effects on children: at the same time they help them lose weight, get stronger and become more confident. Last but not least, they can really have a good time being active!
Get your child off the couch and try a FREE 14 DAY TRIAL of martial arts. Register here: Martial Arts for Kids