Fitness, For the Win

More on the Authorship

New research strongly suggests that getting kids moving—early in life—might just be the best defense against obesity. 

A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that young rats given the freedom to exercise more often, developed a defense mechanism against obesity by the time they reached adolescence. Even when they had unlimited access to food, rats who were given access to a running wheel didn't end up gaining excess weight.

The findings are both promosing and exciting. Labratory rats, though, lead a fairly simple life, while people tend face a complicated collection of factors that influence obesity. (This issue's article Why We Need to Stop Marketing to Kids, for example, examines the connections between diet, advertising and obesity.) But it's still one more compelling reason to get our chlldren active, from a very early age.

This issue's peer-reviewed article offers some strategies to help reach this goal. Physical Literacy: Breaking Down Silos Between Sectors considers how a collaborative approach among sport, education, recreation and health sectors can have a positive impact on children's physical literacy.

In Survey Results: Healthy Schools Learning Community of Practice, PHE reports on the progress of a new effort to make positive and healthy changes within communities, using a whole-school approach that recognizes the relationship between health and learning.

Feature article Olympc Wrestling: A Barrier-free Path to Better Youth Fitness outlines the chief roadblocks to youth participation in sports activites and considers how the sport of wrestling might be a solution to overcoming them.

Also in this issue, PHE Canada president, Fran Harris, shares a personal story of the value of fitness and wellness, to prepare for the kinds of bumps in the road you can't see coming.

We hope these and all the articles in this issue help to inspire, inform and spark some action.

Enjoy the issue!