Commit You Kids = Commit as a Parent

I can no longer hold off in commenting about this aspect of kids fitness.  The final straw happened last night at work. So here I am, up early before I go for a (chilly) run, and writing my confusion and yes, frustrations that will hopefully get people thinking.

As a Fitness Professional, I specialize in kids fitness and sports conditioning.  Sometimes, both specialties go hand in hand.  Yet it seems since December 2010, my eyes have been opened to a new issue;  lack of commitment from the parents!

Participaction stated a couple of days ago, that “we are heavier, rounder and less flexible than a generation ago”.  Kids and adults alike!  They also stated some alarming statistics since the new Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines have been released early this year.   The one that impacted me the most (especially as a parent);  “Research shows 88% of Canadian parents believe their kids get plenty of exercise. Reality: only about 12% get the daily activity they need.”  I believe this, and this is a large part of the problem.

Parents are role models, teachers and “coaches” so-to-speak.  If we as parents do not encourage our kids to be active, make healthy eating choices and learn to live life to the fullest, than who will?  Parents and your own lifestyles have the biggest impact on your children.

In dealing with kids on a daily basis at work as clients, it creates so many question marks for me as to why parents will pay hundreds of dollars to buy training sessions for their child, yet will send them to a session after eating a low-nutrient, energy sucking “meal”!?!?  What a waste of money!  It really defeats the purpose of bringing your child to see a Personal Trainer does it not?

Kraft dinner, Chinese food, frozen pizza… just to name a few “pre-workout” meals some of my clients are being fed.  2/3 of these young clients are 12 years old. At that age, who do you think makes the majority of choices in what the child eats?  The parents!  The other, is a 16-year old National level soccer player.  After eating this garbage, the child is either 100% not focused and low energy (whether we’re doing an exercise or playing a game) OR they feel so horrible, they feel like vomiting and can’t keep moving and working out.

Under-education as a society as to what it means to learn to become healthy is causing us to completely move in the wrong direction.  If we don’t help create healthier habits for our kids, our future is only going to get worse!  If you commit your child to training/fitness, you commit yourselves as parents.  Otherwise, save your money (it would make more sense).

Derek Arsenault

-Certified Personal Trainer - CSEP-CPT -Fitness & Health Promotion Graduate - Loyalist College, Belleville, ON, Canada -Reiki Level 2 Certified -Specializes in Sports Conditioning and Kids Fitness -Contributing writer to -Member of CSEP's Editorial Committee for the (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology) "Exercise & Fitness Bulletin

2 thoughts on “Commit You Kids = Commit as a Parent

  • February 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I think this is borderline child abuse. Obesity rates have been increasing steadily thoughout the last 3 decades. Some parents don’t realize how harmful this nutritionally empty food is for growing children that really need nutritionally dense foods. Fast food is cheap & easy but at what cost? I recently read a study done on 11 through 17 year olds that were shown to have build up in their arteries comparable to that of a 45 year old. So does that mean that theses kids may expect to see coronary events in their 20’s?
    The parents are usually the ones making the family food choices. Perhaps if their was an increase in awareness of the seriousness of this issue, we can reverse the obesity trend and provide this generation the opportunity for a healthy future.
    Sign Me
    Searching for Solutions

  • February 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I see this all the time in the New York City Subways in the mornings: Parents feeding their kids these wonderful breakfast foods. $0.99 sodas, potato chips, cookies, cupcakes, McDonald’s French fries, etc.



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