slow children

Slow Children Playing. Really Slow…

Dear Mr. Dad: The Olympics are just around the corner and I’ve been wondering whether American athletes are going to compete, given the epidemic of childhood obesity that we keep hearing about. If our kids are so out of shape, how will we ever be able to compete?

A: Back when I was in the fourth grade, I was one of the fastest kids in my school. I remember coming home one afternoon all excited after having won some kind of sprint and telling my parents—and my grandparents, who were over for dinner—all about it. My grandfather, who was 72 at the time, challenged me to a race. So we went outside and he proceeded to kick my 9-year old butt.

In my defense, grandpa was a freak of nature. He worked at backbreaking jobs most of his life and died at 103—after decades of stuffing his face on mac and cheese and fried chicken at all-you-can-eat buffets.  And he did 100 pushups every day almost to the end. I was reminded of that somewhat humiliating day as I was reading several studies conducted by Grant Tomkinson, a senior lecturer in the University of South Australia’s School of Health Sciences, who has been researching children’s fitness levels around the world.

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Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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