The Decline of Physical Activity

This is how children and teenagers used to play pre-computer era. Sadly we are very far removed from this nowadays, which is very clear in the decline of physical capability in people of all ages.

Reintroduce your children to this way of playing and it will give them long lasting happiness and health benefits. But don’t stop there. Join them! It will not only help you create a better and deeper connection with them, you will also enjoy these same health benefits.

After all, the way you age is greatly dependent on three things:

  1. Mental welfare
  2. Healthy eating
  3. Physical activity

Interestingly enough, they are extremely interdependent. An improvement in one aspect will more easily facilitate positive change in other areas. They are the only real “youth potion” out there. Just have a look at these guys:

So it seems that people who keep exposing themselves to physical activity stay much younger than their counterpart couch potatoes. And the longer they have, the more clear this becomes. The more you use your tools (the human body), the longer they stay in prime condition, if you make an effort to treat them well of course.

Not only have children started playing outside less, the way they play has changed as well. Playgrounds are being built to keep children as safe as possible – and their parents contribute even more to that by constantly keeping them out of danger.

My guess is many people who see this video will think what these children are doing is dangerous. Children nowadays get sterilised from almost all “dangerous” activities

“Don’t climb that high! What if you fall?”
“Don’t jump down from there! You’ll hurt your knees!”
“Don’t stand up while you are on the slide!”
“HEY! No pushing or pulling each other”

And no, it’s not fun to see your child get hurt. But the more you remove them from “danger”, the less capable they will become at evaluating danger themselves. And the less capable they are at making that evaluation themselves, the easier and more severe they can get hurt. It is through these smaller and less significant bruises, scrapes, twisted ankles, … that they learn how to deal with -real- danger. Children have a natural curiosity and a need to explore how to interact with their surroundings. Don’t take that away from them!

I am not saying you should let them run free and do whatever they please. We need a certain amount of vigilance, but this should be more of an “emergency back-up” strategy instead of removing them from all danger. And what do you know… the best way to do that is to actually play together with them instead of distancing yourself from all play.

As my teacher, Ido says: “Let them dirty the walls motherfucker!”

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