Joe Wicks got children moving – how to keep them active as lockdown ends
When parents in the UK were suddenly forced to become their Lockdown teacher, physical education (PE) was largely an afterthought. With many sports lessons now being offered by external professional trainers, few primary schools had the internal experience or skills to create and suggest content to help parents.
Instead, many turned to fitness guru Joe Wicks. His sport with Joe, a 30-minute live workout streamed on YouTube every weekday at 9 a.m., started almost immediately after schools across the UK were closed.
The videos are based on Wicks' brand of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) - intensive, repetitive exercises with short breaks - but are aimed at children. The exercises included star jumps and "pikachus", and on Fridays Wicks and his audience trained in costumes.
Wicks welcomes the fact that more children and their parents think about and participate in sports and show them that it fits into their daily lives. But what will happen when the ban ends?
Another type of PE
Throughout the blockade, movement was praised both as a coping mechanism through the limitations and as an effective immune system support. With the increasing willingness of parents to engage in sport, the participation of children has also increased, which in turn has led to a ritualized, family-oriented occupation with exercise.
The Joe Wicks movement has also led to the realization that sport doesn't necessarily mean sport. For years, sports in primary school have often been associated with sports and sports-specific games. The use of professional coaches, often provided by professional sports teams, has contributed to the assumption that this is the only way to teach sport as a subject.
Instead, Wicks offers a vision of a novel and inclusive curriculum based on fitness rather than sport that could be the answer to a more active nation.
The World Health Organization recommends that children ages 5 to 17 participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to heavy physical activity every day. The UK government currently expects at least 30 minutes to be completed outside of school hours.
When the lock wears off, the routines return to normal. Children can be at school at 9 a.m. instead of following a training video. It is therefore important that these new habits are not lost.
Here are five ways to ensure that a post-lock routine helps children build on their Joe Wicks exercise classes.
1. Active travel
Car-free roads due to travel restrictions have led to a wave of first-time bikers, joggers and skaters. We can get back into our cars now, but that doesn't mean we have to drive. A walk or bike to school not only brings the physical activity you need, it can also improve your child's academic performance.
2. Concentrate on “physical competence”.
Joe Wicks was not the first to come up with the idea that non-sports-based education would be beneficial. The children's initiative BOING at home has created a free online resource package on the subject of “body competence”.
Walking or cycling to school is a great way to get kids active. Romrodphoto / Shutterstock
Physical competence focuses on holistic physical development and how a child moves and interacts with the space and the environment around it. In a world where success is measured, advocates of physical competence prefer to instead record progress and point out that the level at which people can physically read and write may change depending on the environment. Reading and writing physically is also associated with academic success.
3. Be a role model
One of the great successes of Joe Wicks' sport with Joe was the commitment, support, and encouragement of the family that was needed. There is an abundance of research that suggests that improving parents' physical activity makes a significant contribution to their children's overall health.
4. Continue exercising at home
Online streaming is booming in blocking and the increasing acceptance of digital entertainment is expected to be a widespread trend. Now that Joe Wicks ends his efforts, parents could look at others to fill the gap. Both the BBC and the Learning Station offer age-appropriate resources to get children active at home.
5. Participate in community activities
Local community clubs for activities such as orienteering, climbing, hiking and adventure groups such as the scouts support a physically active lifestyle without sport as a focus. It is also important that this is a great way to support the social development of young people.
The UK government has recognized that sport is only part of the picture to get more people active, as stated in a 2015 sport strategy consultation paper.
We have the opportunity here to establish physical activity as a constant habit. While Wicks is reducing his sports hours, the focus is now focused on how parents, communities and teachers can learn from this experience and keep sports and physical activity relevant and successful.
This article is republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Stanley Windsor does not work for companies or organizations that would benefit from this article, and does not consult, or receive funds from, shares. He has not announced any relevant affiliations beyond his academic appointment.
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