Thursday, May 17, 2012

Children's Play or Cardio Exercise?

Since I began my project, TheGamesWeUsedToPlay.CA, I've become more aware of blog posts, articles, and tweets about children, the lack of regular exercise, their not-so-healthy diets, and the health-related issues, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Some experts have said that this will be the first generation of children who will not have a longer life expectancy as the generations before them. If this is true, why are we allowing this to happen?

A tweet caught my eye on Tuesday, an article over at on playing that counts as cardio (What Counts as Cardio?). Since when have we had to start thinking of the games our kids play as giving them a cardio workout? Is this a new trend now? 

While it's never a bad thing to get your children active, childhood play should be play that happens to be exercise, not exercise disguised as play. When that happens, there's an ulterior motive and the pure joy that play provides can be lost.

What do you think? Are we losing something by not giving our children the opportunity to play - on their own, without adult interference?


Mary Pippin said...

Yes, we are. And it's directly related to the modern trend of helicopter parenting as well, in my opinion.

Jennifer Willis said...

I've had similar thoughts. With so many school's gym programs getting cut to offset budgetary shortfalls and cut-backs, I'm wondering why school officials don't simply encourage more "play" time instead. The kids still desperately need physical exercise, and they need the creative benefits of play, too.