Classes get children active

2017-04-18 06:01
 Photo: sourcedChildren in a tug-o-war at a boot camp class.

Photo: sourcedChildren in a tug-o-war at a boot camp class.

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JUMPING jacks, hide and seek, friendly cricket and soccer matches used to be games that kept children of the eighties entertained and outdoors for hours, but today’s children spend the majority of their free time watching TV, playing on Xbox or PlayStation, browsing websites and spending time on YouTube with cellphones or laptops.

Children today are becoming less active and more anti-social. This lack of physical activity in childhood leads to an increased risk of being overweight or obese in adulthood, as well as having obesity-related problems.

Sister Jane Lukhan, a qualified nurse and occupation health therapist, said the lack of exercise in children can have many negative effects, in that they are more likely to be overweight, and children, who don't get exercise, have weaker muscles and bones than those of children who do exercise.

“Inactive children also have the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes­, may have higher blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels,” she said.

Upper Highway resident, Pieter Koekemoer said he doesn’t want to see the younger generation become “couch potatoes” and has decided to host boot camp classes for them.

“Our children need to embrace a healthy lifestyle and parents can play a part in this by enrolling them in sport activities they enjoy, and by pointing out the benefits of physical activity.

“Most children are forced to do physical activity when they are in school, yet when they go on holiday or even on weekends they choose not to do any, however, this boot camp is designed to keep them active when they don't play school sport.”

Koekemoer said not only is the boot camp for children who participate in school sport, it is also intended for children who don’t play sport at school, but who enjoy different fitness routines.

“Fitness not only gives pupils a healthy lifestyle, it also helps them with their school work and discipline.”

In addition to boot camp classes, Koekemoer trains children in fitness and athletics.

“My focus is on hurdles. I'm starting to build up a group of hurdlers for KZN to compete locally and nationally.

“Training takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Forest View Primary. There's aren’t many coaches in the area so it's important to build our athletes from here to get them to compete,” he added.

For more information on classes or to train in athletics, contact Koekemoer on 072 545 2880.

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