A recent research study involving two dozen middle and elementary schools indicated that a supervised exercise program which lets your children run and play for an hour after school could make their lives healthier and happier. Such a program will also help to bridge the gap between the schedules and needs of parents and school officials. The study also indicates that the actual progress will also be dependent on how often children participate in such a program.
The health dilemma of today
For decades, physical activity among children in most developed countries has been on a steady decline. Renowned nutritionists and health educationists suggest that children and teenagers must engage in at least one hour of exercise and physical activity per day. However, most surveys suggest that only 20% of children and adolescents are that active and most of the rest barely exercise at all. On the other hand, according to the Centers for disease control and prevention, obesity rates among children who are even as young as 2 are at approximately 17%.
The proposed solutions
Most health experts have recommended that such interventions may be used which aid physical activity. Such interventions combine sports programs to the use of active video games. These allow children to exercise without surrendering their joysticks and screens.
However, most of such initiatives are very expensive, require advanced logistics, very time consuming and largely impractical.
How an after school exercise program is the best solution?
The best solution to this issue is to have a structured and supervised after school program which allows children to exercise by playing and moving the way they like. Such a program will help them in building healthy habits which allow them to be happier.
This is supported and strongly recommended by many research studies as well. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a research study was conducted on the effectiveness of after school programs. The study involved 38 children who were divided into 2 groups. The first group was subjected to a structured program which encouraged children to exercise by playing with each other and interactive obstacles. They were supervised by trained instructors at all time. This program was scheduled to take place after school hours and the transition was a seamless one. While the second group of children wasn’t subjected to such a program and they went on with their normal routine. The children from both of these groups were subjected to cognitive testing and brain imaging. The results showed that children who participated in the afterschool program showed a 6-7% increase in fitness level and more creative trends. While who didn’t participate in such a program showed less than 1% increase in fitness level.
Where can I find an after school exercise program near me?
Gantry Kids and Teens offers an after school program which aims at giving kids a fun set of coach-led activities (and some focused homework time) while relieving parents of the need to make the after school pick-up. Feel free to contact us anytime if you would like to inquire about further details.