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Illinois youth encouraged to get up, get outside and exercise

July 24, 2013

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — In recognition of July as National Make a Difference to Children Month, the Illinois Taekwondo State Association is encouraging Illinois parents and caregivers to focus on physical activity to help promote the health and wellness of their children.

With summer upon us, it is easy for children to get caught up in TV shows and video games. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children and adolescents should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

The CDC recommends the following three types of exercise:

1. Aerobic — Aerobic activity should make up the majority of a child’s 60-plus daily minutes of physical activity. This could include either moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking or vigorous-intensity activity like running. Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity should be included at least three days per week.

2. Muscle strengthening — Muscle-strengthening activities like gymnastics or push-ups should be included at least three days per week as part of a child’s physical activity regimen.

3. Bone-strengthening — Jumping rope, running and other bone-strengthening activities should also be included on at least three of a child’s days per week.

These are great recommendations,” said Bruce Harris, CEO of USA Taekwondo, which is the governing body for the sport of taekwondo to the U.S. Olympic Committee. “Taekwondo is an excellent way to help Illinois youth meet these recommendations. With taekwondo, not only do kids meet and exceed the recommended standards, but they have a lot of fun doing it. At the same time, they will gain skills that can benefit them throughout life, such as personal protection.”

The Illinois Association of Park Districts (IADP) has reported that childhood obesity has tripled since the 1980s. According to the IAPD website, more than 25 percent of Illinois youth from ages 12-16 and 18 percent of youth from ages 6-10 are overweight.

When asked about IADP findings, Master Luciano Medina, president of the Illinois Taekwondo State Association, said: “Those statistics are staggering. It breaks my heart to see information like that. Kids have a naturally high level of energy and all they need is an outlet. Taekwondo is an ideal sport for kids, as it involves each of the three aspects that the CDC recommends and it can ward off childhood obesity.”

To honor July as National Make a Difference to Children Month and to take a stand against childhood obesity, ITSA is encouraging Illinois parents to visit a local taekwondo school to see if their child would like the activities.

Posted July 24, 2013

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