ImageWhat is fitter younger

Fitter Younger is a fitness business run by Ciarán Slane and is aimed at todays Children and Adolescents with the view of increasing their physical activity levels and in turn decreasing the amount of time they spend being sedentary. Ciaran has a BSc (Hons) degree in Sports Science and is a fully qualified Fitness Instructor. He has had a passion for health and fitness for many years, and has gained many coaching qualifications including Level 2 Accreditation from the GAA. Ciarán has always been involved in Youth Coaching, from his involvement in Underage County Development squads to coaching the younger members of various GAA Clubs.



The importance of being fitter...

In todays world of technological advances, an increased amount of time is being spent in a sedentary lifestyle. Any time a person is sitting or lying down, they are engaging in sedentary behaviour.  Common sedentary behaviours include TV viewing, video game playing, computer use (collective termed "screen time"), driving vehicles, and reading. These are having a detremential effect on our lives and especially the lives of Children and Adolescents.

Potential benefits linked to physical activity in children and young people include the acquisition of social skills through active play (leadership, teamwork and co-operation), better concentration in school and displacement of anti-social and criminal behaviour.1

A new study finds that at least 60 minutes of physical activity after school every day is not only beneficial for children's physical health, but it may also improve their cognitive functioning.2 Strong evidence also indicates that regular physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits for Children and Adolescents. This includes;

- reduced body fat and the promotion of healthy weight,
- enhanced bone and cardio-metabolic health,
- enhanced psychological well-being.

The evidence further supports recommendations on limiting sedentary behaviour, which may be associated with health risks that are independent of participation in physical activity. Physical activity has very low risks for most children and young people; however, the risk of poor health from inactivity is very high.



Recommendations

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO3) The recommendations to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and
cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers are:
1. Children and youth aged 5-17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate - to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
2. Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits.
3. Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 times per week.

1. Warwick I, Mooney A and Oliver C (2009) National Healthy Schools Programme: Developing the evidence base. London: Thomas Coram Research Unit and Institute of Education, University of London.

2. Whiteman, Honor. "An hour of after-school exercise linked to better cognitive functioning." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 29 Sep. 2014. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.
3. www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_young_people/en/