By Sensei Serge Sognonvi and Carmen Sognonvi
Originally published at http://www.urbandojo.com/blog
Between 16 and 32 percent of American children are considered clinically obese – that is, they weigh at least 10% more than their peers of the same age and height. And while some obesity is genetic or metabolic (a child with an obese parent has a 50% chance of becoming obese for life; a child with two obese parents has an 80% chance), heredity does not automatically “condemn” a child to a lifetime of obesity; learning healthy eating habits and engaging in enjoyable physical activities can counteract hereditary and metabolic tendencies.
What causes childhood obesity?
Learning healthy eating habits is the first key to a lifetime of physical wellbeing. According to the Clinton Foundation, the average teenager eats fat-and-calorie-laden fast food at least twice a week, while only three of ten high school seniors report eating green vegetables nearly every day or more often.
The second key to a healthy life is frequent aerobic exercise. But because most elementary schools don’t offer daily physical education classes and less than a quarter of high school students take daily physical education classes, it remains each family’s responsibility to encourage and foster fun, engaging physical activity on a daily basis. By converting at least half of a child’s sedentary time (watching TV, playing video games, working on a PC) into daily, fun physical activities, the obesity epidemic can be greatly reduced.
How martial arts can help
One of the strategies experts recommend for reducing childhood obesity (in addition to serving sensible, healthy meals) is to increase daily physical activity. Taking martial arts classes is a great way to do this because with martial arts, the activities don’t feel like chores or laborious exercises. They’re all fun! Read the full article →