The development and preservation of health for a lifetime…

There are many considerations to be made in reference to children participating in athletic programs. Such endeavors have significant advantages and disadvantages. Harm may result if parents are overprotective and keep their children out of sports altogether; harm may also come from lack of protection of children. When we consider your child’s participation in sports, there is a happy medium between the two extremes.

Major benefits from athletic participation include
the following:

1.Physical development of muscular activity.
2.Body coordination.
3.Developing the mental ability to make decisions quickly.
4.Learning the value of team effort.
5.Pride in completing a job well done.
6.Developing an enjoyment of physical activity, necessary for a lifetime of health.

Muscular activity is absolutely necessary for well-balanced body development. Children begin this development when they first pull up in a crib. Obviously, if parents do not allow a child to help himself with muscular activity in the form of walking, running, lifting, and playing, s/he will have very poor muscular development and will suffer throughout his/her lifetime. The same is true when overprotective parents limit a child’s activity in any sport that might cause injury.

In modern society, a new health problem is becoming more and more prevalent. This condition, called hypokinetic disease, is a result of too little physical activity. The term “hypokinetic” means lack of motion. We may have this lack of physical activity because of the increased use of mechanical devices which take away the physical labor of a job. An individual may have an occupation where he stands all day at a machine, primarily observing the machine’s working action. He rides to work in the morning, rides home in the evening, and then spends the rest of the day sitting and watching other people being active on TV.

Lack of aptitude in sports
may be due to a neurologic disorganization. Children develop patterns of neurologic organization at an extremely young age. If some phase of this development is missed or not fully completed, there is poor function between the two sides of the body that often manifests as clumsiness or lack of coordination. These children frequently will also have some form of learning disability, such as difficulty in reading. But this disorganized pattern can be found and usually make corrections easily. Not only will muscular coordination improve, but also running speed, eye-hand coordination, reading, etc.

We all have a tendency to enjoy that at which we succeed. A child successful in a sports endeavor can seem almost to live for that sport, while many children tend to avoid sports activities because they seem to be consistent losers. This latter situation creates a two-fold problem for the child. First, s/he fails to derive the benefits of athletic programs in body development, and second, s/he may develop a harmful mental attitude when frequent defeats are experienced.

For your children’s health, please regularly do exercise with them. Let children do sports that they love, such as skating, playing basketball, riding smart scooter, swimming and so on. Life lies in movement.