According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage and entertainment industries.
The need for health education and exercise programs are crucial for our youth. Besides the inherent benefits of good physical fitness for their current health, the positive effects of physical activity are lasting as well, including the following.
- Exercise can decrease a child’s chances of becoming overweight.
- Children’s brains are still developing, meaning it’s as important as ever to stimulate the brain to improve mental health, performance and focus. Exercise can stimulate the formation of new neurons and help brain cells grow.
- Much like the brain, kids’ bones are still in the growing phase throughout childhood. With regular exercise, bones and the bone mineral density are strengthened.
By providing youth exercise programs, your church demonstrates to the congregation and community that there is a desire among the leaders in the organization to create better future prospects for the youth of your community. There are many ways your organization can provide this type of outreach, including in-facility programs, community partnerships with fitness organizations, or even sponsoring a sports team in your community.
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