Childhood obesity has become a rapidly growing issue. With obesity being linked to numerous health issues, it’s apparent that obesity at such a young age can be very problematic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity rates have more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents, over the past 30 years. Physical activity is one of the best ways to help weight loss and what better way than to participate in martial arts?
Here we break down the many reasons why you should combat childhood obesity with martial arts:
Obesity is a medical condition defined by excessive body fat, which is more severe than simply being overweight. It is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, and can be difficult to manage through simple dietary changes alone. The prevalence of childhood obesity is particularly concerning, with over one third of children and adolescents affected in 2012. The root cause of obesity is a caloric imbalance, where more calories are consumed than expended.
This imbalance can be influenced by a variety of factors, including sedentary lifestyles and dietary habits. The consequences of obesity can be quite severe, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, early heart disease, diabetes, bone problems, and skin conditions. Although addressing obesity seems like an obvious solution, making the necessary lifestyle and habitual changes can be challenging for many individuals. It requires a comprehensive approach that involves both dietary changes and increased physical activity, as well as support from medical professionals and loved ones.
In terms of calorie expenditure, exercise is key. The majority of martial arts provide a highly vigorous form of exercise. While some media representations of martial arts focus on violence and pure combat, most martial arts and martial arts schools are focused on self-improvement and a positive way of life. Additionally, the martial arts are a fun and highly interactive way to introduce physical activity, especially with those afflicted by childhood obesity.
On top of that, the philosophies taught in traditional martial arts can create a sense of well-being and positivity in many that are key to improving one’s health. The ranking system allows people to have a sense of direction and accomplishment in a way that helps guide their journey, and boosts motivation. This approach within martial arts uses positive reinforcement and build self esteem; a key in having students follow through and create lifelong change.
With healthy physical activity introduced to combat childhood obesity with martial arts, healthy eating comes a bit more naturally. Most martial artists incorporate some aspects of nutrition in their teachings, especially at competitive schools. Nutrition is not only key for high performance but also for weight loss. As mentioned before, the biggest factor of obesity is the caloric imbalance. Speaking from a place of authority, martial arts instructors and fellow students help to encourage kids to stick to a healthier diet, through positive group goals.
Incorporating martial arts into a child's routine as a means of combating obesity has numerous benefits beyond just physical exercise and a healthy diet. One of the most significant advantages is the sense of empowerment that it instills in individuals. Many children who struggle with obesity also struggle with self-doubt and insecurity, which can hinder their progress in overcoming their weight issues. However, the mental fortitude that martial arts can build in a child can help them overcome these obstacles, not only in relation to obesity but also in other aspects of their lives. By developing resilience, discipline, and determination, children can learn to overcome challenges and setbacks, resulting in a more confident and self-assured outlook on life.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!
References: Demi Powell on CS - https://corespirit.com/articles/fighting-childhood-obesity-with-martial-arts-2iuy55gndg