Most of us parents know there are many benefits to physical activity for our children, and for that matter all of us. Obvious benefits are cardiovascular and physical health such as bone density, muscle growth, and weight control. We have been as a country locked down and closed for a year now, and pediatricians are seeing unprecedented levels of childhood obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and metabolic diseases. Because of the isolation, children (and parents) are turning to electronic entertainment and social media in place of socializing and physical activity.
As a parent, I find it disheartening to read that the suicide rate for children between the ages of 10 to 20 have increased by 60% according to the CDC. It is appalling to read that more than half of the kids are failing their on-line classes. Children are not meant to be penned up in isolation. Heart disease in children is at an all-time high. Between the ages 5 and 15, children are learning one of two lifestyle habits; one that includes physical activity, or one that is sedentary.
There is a simple solution in the hands of parents to ensure your children are not part of the statistical nightmare we see happening before our eyes. MAKE your children exercise and interact with others. Put them into something physical and MAKE them continue doing it. Your children won’t always love the activity they started, but you are the parent and know what’s good for them. If your child had it their way, most would choose cake and cookies for dinner every night. But YOU are the parents and know what’s best for them. You MAKE them eat their vegetables because that is what a good parent does. The same method needs to be applied to physical activity. MAKE THEM DO IT!
Now, I will make the case as to why I think martial arts classes are the BEST alternative for physical activity. Yes, I am biased because I run a martial arts school. But understand that I’ve been involved in martial arts since I was 11 years old (I’m 55, do the math). I started because I was bullied and suffered from low self-esteem. As I got better, I became a more confident person and bullying became a non-issue. I’m also a parent who MADE my own children practice martial arts and achieve black belts. What a difference it made in my life and the lives of my children. My oldest son is ready to put on Major in the United States Army and currently pursuing his second Masters Degree. My daughter knows how to take care of herself and works in a corrections center. My youngest son is finishing his last two years of high school at Wake Tech and will graduate high school with an Associates Degree. I’ve watched countless students who made their black belt achieve honor rolls, graduate with honors, and get scholarships. Why? Because our program works. Karate is not just something you do; it becomes who you are. It is not just a physical activity. It is a place to learn and live words like respect, integrity, focus, and discipline. Our students learn what it takes to make goals and achieve them. What you get from martial arts training, you can NEVER get from dance, soccer, baseball, etc. It is the one place you can takeout aggression, stress, and anger in class, and it is encouraged and a positive outlet. It is a good place to make life-long friends and become a product of positive peer pressure. My students all become confident, successful, and happy.
At Innovative Martial Arts Academy in Wake Forest, we have had the pleasure of successfully helping kids with ADHD, weight issues, anger management, and suffering with low self-esteem. Come find out why we have been voted as Best of the Best Martial Arts School every year for the last ten years!