Why Kids Clubs are key to fighting child obesity

It’s not easy to keep your child active in a hyper-connected world. Parents are battling for their child’s attention, distractions from state of the art game consols and smart devices more powerful than the rocket that took ‘man’ to the moon. These attention-sapping devices combined with the plethora of popular fast food outlets marketed at kids and the younger generation makes moulding healthy and active lifestyles for our children difficult. A growing challenge for parents everywhere.

Battling in-activity in the next generation has become harder with every generation,  each growing up with smarter and more addictive technology. A recent post on UKActive states “Technology is undoubtedly causing sedentary behaviour”. The dangers on our children’s health don’t need to wait for a study to tell us, we need to get children active, playing and learning in dynamic ways in order to foster lifelong healthy habits.

Do you know all the kid’s clubs in your area?

Kids clubs are a growing market, the choice available for parents looking for different ways to get their children active is expanding all the time. Whether it’s taking your child to an ex-professional footballers academy or nurturing their love for dance, there is something for every interest.

There are thousands of kids clubs, gymnastics to chess is catered for in this growing market, finding them however is not always easy.

There are, however, plenty of directories for Kids Clubs, in the UK this includes the like of Mumsnet and Whats on 4 Kids. These websites enable you to find kids clubs. Finding your nearest kids club has never been easier. Some platforms have taken this one step further, offering the facility to book and pay for your sessions directly with the kids club. Class For Kids is probably the largest kids club platform in the UK. They offer a comprehensive UK directory and industry-leading management platform for kids club operators.

Find your nearest Kids Club on the Class For Kids directory

Children are less active

A recent leading survey into the activity levels of children by Sport England found that only 1 in 3 children are active and less are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of more than 60 minutes of activity a day, every day of the week. In essence, the survey does reveal that overall around 40% of children are active.

But is this enough? 

Starting a statement with ‘when I was young’ automatically makes you sound like your parents, when I was a child I would have shrugged off such statements from my parents and said ‘times have changed mum’ while listening to my Sony Walkman or playing on my PlayStation ONE!

However, at the time I also used to play outside a lot, the cul-de-sac I lived in was a playground, benefiting from a no-through road meant there were little traffic and my friends and I could play ball games, ride our bikes around the pavements, make courses to negotiate on foot or bike, play kerbie and endless other games.

So here I am starting a statement with, When I was young, we played outside much more than children today, seldom do I see children playing in the street. I do however feel this is a combination of more structured activities which were few and far between when I was young and an element of more safety-conscious parents.

Habit Forming

When you’re watching the Olympics on TV and you see an incredible performance from an athlete, you are watching the pinnacle of years, often decades of practice. Built out of habit these individuals have dedicated themselves to being the best in their field. These champions emerge from kids clubs helping children improve their skills.

None of the above would be possible without creating habits conducive to reaching these goals, from eating right, exercising and practising their art. Habits are created at an early age which will no doubt have an incredibly positive impact. Not just on sporting performance but also in moulding life skills.

Although most children who attend a local kids club won’t end up at the Olympics, all of the above benefits still apply. Children benefit from increasing exercise levels, learning about healthy eating, competing amongst their peers and learning how to compete with others and work as a team. Undeniably all off these traits and skills are hugely important in life.

Habits, more so than anything else are what makes the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy child. Through adherence to either good or bad habits. Learning good healthy habits at a young age will create lifelong adherence to healthy habits.

We are what we repeatedly do

Aristotle

As humans we are very much creatures of habit, it’s actually pretty solid science. Creating a habit requires less thought and deliberate thought process. It kin to autopilot, a set series of actions programmed into the computer (your brain). This is why when we get in the car and go somewhere else other than our normal route to work we sometimes end up taking the wrong turn and going on the route to work. It has been programmed into your brain.

Children are also capable of developing habits, both good and bad and more so they rely on influences from their parents, guardians and teachers to help them select good habits and deter the bad habits.

Kids like what they like and definitely, don’t like what they don’t, This makes the job of encouraging healthy lifestyles more difficult as they won’t do something because ‘its good for them’. They will have to thoroughly enjoy it. This is why; Kids Clubs have a very important and often life-changing role in our children’s lives and the state of their future health and wellbeing.

Nurture Interests

At school we spend a very small amount of time doing physical activity and trying active team games and individual athletic sports. But what about the activities not included in the curriculum? The amount of kids clubs available is mind-blowing. The choice is wide and varied and the only way to find out if you like something is to try it.

Put your postcode into class4kids.co.uk and see the local clubs in your area, many with introductory trial offers. Run a kids club? Add your club to the Class For Kids Directory of kids clubs or manage your club with their booking system, sign up for a free trial)

Olympic athletes such as Victoria Pendleton, Bradley Wiggins and Tom Daley don’t just become great in their sport. They have turned up every day for a long time, building on a thier love for their sport nurtured at a young age. Where would these athletes be if they had not been introduced to sports at a young age?

Create Healthy Lifestyles

Ultimately our lifestyles are steered from what we know, what we’ve been taught and how our values have been shaped. As an adult, you make decisions every day based on your internal beliefs and what you consider normal, for you!

For some, a child who wakes at 4:30 am and is training in the pool by 5:30 am might seem odd, of course, it would, it’s not part of their lifestyle or belief system. Yet, for that child getting up early to practice their sport is very normal, even necessary and is well ingrained as part of their lifestyle and it will be well ingrained as a habit. That is how someone you’ve never heard of before, appears on your TV at the Olympics, executes a lifetime of practice into one event and becomes a hero for their country and a household name.

Creating healthy active habits in children does not need to involve the lofty dreams of going to the Olympics. Helping children explore activities and sports is not only key to keeping them active but also for building life and social skills. Children can’t facilitate any of their dreams; they are without resources and require the support and encouragement of adults to help them nurture their passions and build healthy and active habits that will last a lifetime.

Vital to enabling our children to explore their interests is the array of kids clubs you can find being provided by passionate industry professionals, whether that is at a gymnastics club, swim school or art club. There is a club for everyone.

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