The ancient Greeks believed that a fit body was vital to cultivating a healthy mind. In ancient China, the philosophical teachings of Confucius encouraged participation in regular physical activity; inactivity was associated with certain diseases that were preventable with regular exercise. Current scientific research not only echoes the teachings of the early sages, it goes further. Many studies now acknowledge the vital role of exercise in helping us live healthier and happier lives. Among the findings are that:
o Exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking.
o Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure and infection.
o Exercise improves mood, reduces stress, enhances sleep and elevates confidence.
o Exercise has other benefits including weight control, stronger muscles and bones, healthier skin.
o Exercise that begins in childhood is particularly beneficial.
Physical activity affects our health from an early age. In a recent study of 9- and 10-year-old children at the University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute, researchers found that greater aerobic fitness is associated with more fibrous and compact white matter, a type of nerve tissue affecting learning. Previous research had shown that more compact white-matter fibers led to improved performance.
HELP YOUR CHILDREN WANT TO BE ACTIVE: Telling your child to stop playing video games, go outdoors and move because “It’s good for your health” is probably not the best approach. Research at the University of Leeds in England found that telling children about the emotional benefits of exercise was more effective than emphasizing the health benefits. Stressing the fun element and letting children know that it will make them feel happier is more likely to lead to action. Coupling this up-front approach with an activity children find to be emotionally rewarding is most likely to get them engaged. Researchers in the Leeds study stated that patterns of behavior that start in the teenage years tend to persist into adulthood so it is vitally important that children get started early. But how do you get your children to want an active lifestyle as much as you want it for them? It seems that they really just need to experience the lifestyle change for a number of weeks. Leeds researchers point out that once a more active pattern has been established, the body begins to enjoy and benefit from the changes, and the benefits in turn become 'craved' by the body.
CRUfit offers after-school programs for youths 10 and up. These programs feature a mix of indoor and outdoor activities including: strength training with light weights, bodyweight and TRX straps, cycling, rowing, obstacle courses, plyometrics, boxing and games all delivered in a fun and friendly setting. These activities are backed by periodic discussions on health and fitness topics. CRUfit Fitness For Teens After School Program