We see it on the news, social media, and in our everyday lives. Although the outlook might be bleak, particularly based on recent trends, many have hope. Still, it’s hard to know where to start, and how to take active steps towards prevention and improvement.
The youth health crisis.
Although physical activity levels have been trending downward for years, there has recently been a significant drop-off as a result of COVID-19. Since the pandemic, kids have been spending more time indoors and on devices, decreasing time outside, interactions with friends, and daily physical activity levels.
Only 24% of youth nationally, and 22% in the state of Tennessee, meet the recommended 60 minutes per day of physical activity. If you’re joining us from Nashville, here’s another staggering statistic: 36% of youth throughout Davidson County are considered obese.
With facts like these, how do we even begin to address the youth health crisis?
Thankfully, there is a straightford, accessible method to fighting these issues. This solution has been shown to decrease both the risk and effects of mental illness, lower the probability of contracting numerous heart and health conditions, and even boost energy and improve sleep.
And it’s not a magic pill.
Surprised? The beneficial effects of exercise are pervasive and well-researched, yet so many people still ignore what should be an enjoyable and productive activity. There are many reasons for this, including everything from toxic fitness culture to facility accessibility, but all of these thought patterns start with our youth.
It is important to begin education about health and wellness (physical, mental, and emotional) from a young age in order to establish healthy, life-long habits. Having access to this knowledge, and being part of a community based in health and wellness, can impact all aspects of a child’s life.
When it comes to school, for example, physical activity has been shown to improve attention and focus, as well as directly affect the brain with enhanced neuron regeneration, reduced inflammation, and quicker neuron-to-neuron communication. And sure, exercise reduces stress in a general sense, but did you also know that participating in exercise outside can reduce cortisol levels by an additional 15%?
Even just being part of a community creates a sense of belonging and purpose that so many children are looking for.
These issues are what The bKYND Company aims to remedy. Through our in-school programming, we provide students with the skills critical to establishing life-long healthy habits.
Teaching the benefits of physical activity in the context of holistic health and community is the first step towards building a happier, healthier tomorrow for our youth!