What is Childhood Obesity?

Sep 3rd 2013

Girl eating a sandwichI guess that cartoon really says it all….what is childhood obesity?  And more importantly, how can we help our kids not experience it?   How do we keep kids engaged and active?  How to we keep them outside and moving?    Getting kids moving, active and outside is a passion here at JumpSport.  Jumping helps with sensory feedback and lymphatic flow so children can concentrate and learn better….. basically Bouncing builds brains!!

But don’t just take it from me…..I asked one Director of Product Development to write a blog on his latest video shoot…Here is  our own Ric McKown thoughts:

Stop childhood obesity octagonal sign This being Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, I asked what could I do to help out.  Since I hang out with fitness people a lot, I started to wonder what’s different between them and today’s kids.  Thinking back, as a kid I was always very active, I loved hanging out with my friends and taking whatever we did to the next level. I suppose it’s like kids and video games today, trying to get to the next level.  For me, it was any a number of things:  playing basketball, water skiing, soccer, whatever. If my friends could do it, I tried to do it better.   As a result my athletic confidence and ability continue to improve. It was always a friendly competition but that seemed to be just the motivator I needed to keep working at it.

One of the big problems for kids I see today is technology. While it can be very helpful, it also seems to be a vacuum that sucks the motivation and thinking right out of them. So why not use the same technology they like to motivate and keep them moving? That’s where the idea of doing a video that gets kids up and moving and having fun came to mind. It’s always more fun to have someone to do things with, that’s part of the reason we do trampoline workouts or join a gym, right!

There were still several hurdles in the way.  What exercises should we use?  Where to shoot the video?  Who to have in the video?  Who to edit the video?  How to best share it with the world?  But at least I had an idea, a starting point.

Since I work with JumpSport® Fitness Trampoline, I started to brainstorm on every kind of exercise you could do on, or around, a rebounder.  In an hour, I had over 60 possible exercises. After removing the scary ones like Children on JumpSport Fitness trampolineflips, one arm spins, handstands, etc. I had usable list of 30 to work with.

What kids should I work with? It seemed the challenges would be good for kids 6 to 12 years old. I know working with six-year-olds and cameras can be very challenging. I fairly quickly decided to go with kids at the older kids.

One of the things I heard psychologists say, is people crave the ability to see their progress. It works as an additional motivator and provides a feeling of accomplishment. That spawned the idea of a fun tracking log to record their progress; a record to show progress and be proud of.

Kids having fun doing a rope pull versus each otherOf course the having the exercises done correctly was important. I asked one of our fitness professionals, Krista Popowych to help. She was delighted!  We also contacted Fuze Fitness for Kids, since they have been motivating kids for several years. We even used their facility for some of the video.

The amount of detail required to actually do a video still amazes me but finally shooting day arrived. We had six 13-year-olds and several adults for camera audio etc.

This needed to be a fun and exciting video or the motivational aspect would be lost. The kids had practiced several hours prior to the shoot, so they knew how to do the exercises. Originally one person was jumping, and the other five children were cheering them on.  During the two day shoot we changed to two kids are jumping and competing with each other.  It became evident a new format was needed to increase the level of fun and competition with the kids.  This had much more energy to it.  We managed to get two days of shooting done in one day and got Krista on her 5 o'clock flight to her next engagement. It was a close call but we all pulled together for the common cause!

To give you an idea of what we now have, we had four cameras with about nine hours of video each. That's 36 hours of video to go through to make three 10-minute videos!

The video editor did a great job of picking the right angles, the right takes, and the right lengths of each take.  Then she put together each challenge seamlessly.  The graphic designer did a great job creating the tracking log and all the graphics for the video. We have all the parts at this point!

Now it's a matter of letting the world know we have some fun challenge videos to help kids build their confidence and improve their cardio, strength, and balance.  I hope parents can step in and help provide rewards as their children progress.  It is a lifelong benefit for the kids and society when they think of movement as a fun thing.  They are more likely to do it when they have the confidence and endurance along with a positive experience early on in life.  Here’s to the challenge for today’s youth -Be active – it’s fun, feels good and increase their confidence!

Happy bouncing,


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