The lack of movement and sports activities for children and adolescents is a problem that existed before the Covid-19 emergency. So, you know, before the limitation of the freedom to move and play sports.
What is the situation, today? Above all, what will happen after the quarantine?
The hours when children are engaged in healthy exercise are not enough. If we add to this an increasingly sedentary lifestyle oriented towards the use of technology rather than movement, the drastic reduction of spontaneous play, “backyard games” and activities in the parks compared to 10/15 years ago, to travel in order to reach the school, which now take place mainly by car or public transport rather than on foot and a food style that is often not exactly impeccable, one can understand how the situation was not the most optimistic even before the forced stop due to COVID-19.
What happens now. And most, what will happen when the virus has been defeated and we will be able to get back return to our activities?
Unfortunately, only a few children are lucky enough to have a spacious courtyard or a private garden. Most young people live in confined spaces where practicing sports is really difficult. In this period, sporting activity is compromised and especially the youngest suffer from this situation.
Some sports clubs are trying in every way to continue to train their kids even from afar, while others are doing little or nothing, partly because of the difficulty in taking full advantage of the technological means, partly because gyms and sports clubs are the first to pay the economic problems caused by this situation.
A worrying picture therefore emerges, in which the first real problem is the motivation to move and train.
The bigger risk is that children develop negative habits that risk lasting even after the emergency, a natural consequence of a long period in which children (but also adults) change their lifestyle and experience habits that lead to sedentary lifestyle. .
Poor motivation and habit of sedentary life add up to a further problem, namely the fact that the majority of the initiatives have as objective to entertain more than train the boys. And it’s not the same thing.
In this regard, according to the WHO (World Health Organization) youth age groups should carry out at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day to promote and maintain a healthy state and normal weight. ; in addition, it would be appropriate to include activities to strengthen the musculoskeletal system at least 3 times a week.
This indication is only an excerpt from the full OMG indications, but reading them two important questions arise:
- How can we help our sons and daughters during this period of forced restrictions?
- What will happen when the emergency returns?
Of course, it is useful to reflect on the fact that sporting activities in groups will probably return to normal very slowly: raise your hand if you feel confident in sending your child to sports groups.
Or, think about how having to keep the distance between people (initially to respect the provisions, but then also out of habit) will affect relationships. Sharing, contact, exchange, are all actions that will return but in the not so near future.
Helping children is the task of parents, even when they have the support of sports clubs: support, motivation, interest, stimulus towards the child or boy is needed.
Here are 10 useful tips that can be applied immediately to try to keep children and young people as healthy as possible, pending a gradual return to normal.
- Build a daily routine in which to insert a moment of training, even if short. Even just 15/20 minutes are enough
- Train together, or organize video calls or sharing moments
- Enter exercises to train the heart and lungs (resistance) such as jumping rope or running on the spot
- Enter strength exercises (useful for strengthening muscles, joints and bones) such as push-ups on the arms or legs
- Enter coordination exercises such as balance or juggling.
- Insert joint mobility exercises
- Make every workout fun and challenging
- Make sure that what you do together is training (that is, has a goal) and is not just to pass the time
- Use your imagination
- Hire a professional who can help you, a coach of the youth club (if your children already play sports) or a qualified instructor specialized in training children
Don’t neglect the aspects related to movement and the habit of doing it: it affects the future of our children.
A fit child is a happier child and a healthier child!