It’s no longer a mystery that kids in general these days are not getting sufficient amounts of physical activity in their daily lives, which is both a result and a cause of high obesity rates. One component of a child’s life that has strong potential to curb these trends is at school, where a good portion of kids’ time is spent almost every day, and where programs can encourage kids to become more active regularly. Despite this opportunity, many schools fail to fulfill their part, and consequently, kids are not getting proper doses of exercise. To get a better gauge of just how much physical activity kids are actually getting daily, a study analyzed a large group of elementary students throughout the day and found physical activity rates to be shockingly low, especially during physical education class.
A new form of exercise that has been experiencing a significant upswing in popularity for young athletes over the past few years has been resistance training, a form of conditioning that uses resistive loads and a variety of exercises to improve strength and overall health. Not quite weightlifting or bodybuilding, which are more focused on increasing muscle size exclusively, resistance training s designed to help young athletes in a number of sports improve their overall performance with a carefully-constructed regimen. Responses to its usefulness and level of necessity have varied, with some deeming it too dangerous for young athletes. On the contrary, though, research has shown it to be a valuable form of conditioning that can be extremely effective if carried out properly and safely.
Figures for obesity and overweight in children and adolescents in the U.S. remain some of the highest in the world, and despite major attempts to counter the trend, the numbers don’t seem to be getting any smaller. In addition to the general drawbacks of being overweight or obese, experts are now pointing out that there is also an additional risk of injury resulting from excessive weight that must be acknowledged and dealt with. Fortunately, awareness and some minor modifications in both lifestyle and sports participation can help overweight young athletes be less likely to suffer an injury.
Participation in sports for adolescents remains high, with an estimated 30 million being active in some organized form. Along with it, injuries are common and affect close to half of all young athletes. Aside from the natural impact on physical abilities and functioning, injuries can also have a negative effect on overall quality of life and wellbeing. In order to better understand these secondary implications of injury and the best ways to handle them, a study was performed on a small group of adolescent athletes.
The High School Participation survey, which is conducted annually and released at the beginning of each New Year, found that participation in high school athletics has increased yet again for the 18thconsecutive year. 54.2% of all high school students now participate in some sport, an increase in 2007 of 2.49%.
With the incidence of overuse injuries in adolescents rising steadily and far exceeding appropriate numbers, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has stepped in to issue a series of guidelines and recommendations to take a stab at lowering the figure. Among the suggestions, the AAP claims that young athletes should take at least two months off per calendar year from athletics entirely.