In a recent chat with Garmin athlete and elite runner Josh Cox we got on the topic of kids and health. We are so happy to have Josh as part of our familly as his passion for the promotion of healthy and active lifestyle is right in line with Garmin's. Here are some of Josh's thoughts:
Kids are late for practice – they run a lap.
Children are good – they get a cookie.
A child talks in PE class – they drop and give 20 push-ups.
The class performs well on a test – they get cake and donuts.
A child tells their gym teacher his shorts are too tight – they run a mile (or 50 push ups and a mile if it’s their second offense – or so I’ve heard).
Kids get A’s on their report card and they’re rewarded with a super sized milkshake.
Notice a trend? What’s wrong here? What message are we sending?
We spend years creating a sort of secret pessimism toward running and physical fitness in the hearts and minds of children. From a very early age, kids are brainwashed – running isn’t something to be enjoyed, running, sweating and push-ups are punishment, whereas cake, cookies and donuts are a reward. And we wonder why we’re fighting an obesity epidemic.
There is an underlying, fundamental flaw in what we’ve taught our children. We need change. We need more programs like Tri Girls, Girls on the Run and the Competitor Group’s Kids Rock races, a program where children run 25.2 miles in school during the months leading up to a mile road race the day before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Kids run, are celebrated, and actually get a medal and a high five after running – rather than a letter home to their parents.
What’s your view? Was running used as punishment in your school? Were sweets given as rewards? What needs to change? Send us your responses via Twitter and Facebook and let's change this trend together!!