Our lives are filled with all manner of distractions including television, video games, and the internet, so it is no wonder that today’s youth has less of an inclination to stay active. Inactivity is a major contributor to what many experts have referred to as the obesity epidemic in the United States. Although health education stresses the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise, it may take a bit of encouragement for many of these children to get active.
Around 17% of children between the ages of two and 19 years are obese; this constitutes 12.7 million children. Studies suggest that a typical child will spend around four or five hours every single day watching television, using a computer, playing a video game, or looking at some kind of screen — other studies have found a direct correlation between television viewership and excessive weight gain. As more children spend time in front of a screen, it means that les children are participating in sports and other activities. Between 2008 and 2013 the figures for sports participation and fitness have significantly dropped; in total around 3 million fewer children have played basketball, soccer, track and field, baseball, football, or softball. If these habits continue, it seems likely that many children will develop significant problems from obesity and inactivity that can seriously impact their health and quality of life.
Sports are a great way to keep kids active and fit. It is estimated that up to 36 million children participate in organized sports each year: 66% of boys between the ages of two and 19 play sports while 52% of girls between two and 19 play some kind of sport. Children that participate in sports not only stay fit and active, but learn the value of living a healthy lifestyle. In addition, sports helps to teach children about teamwork, sportsmanship, and personal pride that can contribute to lifelong values. Children that start early are able to develop the skills needed to win awards; in the long run this can open a number of opportunities in the form of scholarships to help an athlete achieve academic excellence.
Finding the Right Sports Equipment
Contact sports are all fun and games until someone gets hurt; since 87% of parents are worried that their children will sustain an injury by participating in youth sports, the right kind of equipment can help keep children protected. Football is one of the nation’s most physical sports, so obviously youth football equipment is always going to be in high demand. Many parents are concerned whether or not the youth football gear is going to properly fit their children, thankfully there are resources available to show athletes
how to get fitted for youth shoulder pads. Measurements of the athlete’s chest and shoulder width are needed for those unsure of how to get fitted for youth shoulder pads; alternatively, a representative at a sports equipment store can easily show you how to get fitted for youth shoulder pads. Secured shoulder pads are almost as essential as a well-fitted helmet. Like football helmets for adults, there are many types of football helmets for children but all require an accurate head circumference measurement to ensure the helmet will protect the player. With the proper equipment and motivation, children can leave the couch and take to the fields in order to stay fit, healthy, and happy!