To participate in the Miss Teen Canada-World 2013 pageant we are required to have a platform. A platform means bringing awareness to something you believe in. My passion is promoting healthy active lifestyles among kids!
I have been active my whole life and it has benefited me in so many ways. I want to help people of all ages to become more active but since children are our future I want to focus on them the most. Most children these days are so consumed with technology that they rarely leave the house to play sports. When I was young, I played almost every sport. At the age of 5, I joined gymnastics and it changed my life. The qualities and skills that I learned from competing in gymnastics for 8 years benefited me in my every day life too. After gymnastics, I joined competitive cheerleading and competed for 6 years until I had to leave last year due to my back pain (scoliosis). During those 14 years of gymnastics and cheerleading, I also played soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, track and field, and cross country. This is the first year I’m not in a sport and it is devastating for me! My chiropractor says my scoliosis is permanent since I have had it for years. I endured a lot of pain while cheerleading but I fought through it out of love for the sport and my competitive nature. I want to teach kids to take advantage of their health and show them how important living a healthy lifestyle is. They need to be grateful for their ability to play sports and be active and GO OUT AND REEP THE BENEFITS!!! Sports changed my life for the better. My mission now is to help other people change their lives.
Being active benefits ones health, physical, social and psychological well-being. It increases life expectancy, decreases risk of cardiovascular disease, controls weight, reduces blood pressure, raises HDL (good) cholesterol, reduces the risk of diabetes and some kinds of cancer. It helps you feel more confident, happy, improves self-esteem, self-concept, and sense of belonging. Physical activity helps you to communicate by being in a social environment. You learn to interact with others, which can help with teamwork and leadership. It improves concentration skills and the ability to manage anxiety and stress. Also, physical activity has direct links to improving learning outcomes in school. There are many other benefits but, overall, physical activity can enhance your quality of life!
How to promote physical activity?
Physical activity can be increased by reducing sedentary time (e.g., watching television, playing computer video games or talking on the phone). Physical activity should be fun for children and adolescents. Parents should set a good example and be a role model for active lifestyles and provide children with opportunities for increased physical activity.
The American Heart Association recommends:
All children age 2 and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied. If your child or children don’t have a full 60-minute activity break each day, try to provide at least two 30-minute periods or four 15-minute periods in which they can engage in vigorous activities appropriate to their age, gender and stage of physical and emotional development.