Obviously every parent would want a straight A child, but what if that was not an option for your child? Let’s say that in light of that, you were given two choices. The first option would be that from kindergarten to college graduation, your child would get a B minus in every subject. The second option would be that he/she would get only one A plus in one subject, one or two B’s and the rest would be D’s and F’s. You would most likely choose the first option because a person that grows up to be pretty good in ALL facets of education is always going to be more prepared for life and have a high probability of success than someone who gets an A plus in art, a B in English, and D’s and F’s in history, science, and math.
The same goes for health and fitness. What are the facets or avenues of fitness? Well, depending on who you ask, you might get some slight variations but it’s generally accepted that the list includes cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.
If these attributes were all assigned a letter grade, the person that had a B minus in each one as early on in life as possible would most likely have a long, pain-free life that was more or less free of complications. However, when a person gets too wrapped up in one sport or activity, they end up having an A plus in one subject, a B in another one, and D’s and F’s in all the rest. With that said, if you want your child to live to be healthy and fit in it’s truest sense for as long as possible, it’s best to lay down the foundation of making the a physically B minus child, as I like to call it.
The following list describes each facet of fitness and includes activities and/or sports that develop them.
Cardiovascular Endurance -The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
soccer, basketball, swimming, tag
Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
monkey bars, rope climbing, tree climbing, tug of war, swimming, red rover
Flexibility – the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
gymnastics, martial arts, ballet
Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
leapfrog, trampoline, hopscotch, basketball, tennis, baseball, kickball, dodgeball, volleyball, redlight/greenlight
Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
basketball, football, soccer, redlight/greenlight, red rover, musical chairs, kickball
Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
hopscotch, jump rope, dodgeball, foursquare
Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
dodgeball, martial arts, soccer, tennis, tag, musical chairs, basketball
Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
rollerskating, skateboarding, cycling, gymnastics, ballet, hopscotch
Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
dodgeball, waterballoon fighting, badminton, soft/tee ball, carnival games, foursquare, basketball
As you see, you won’t be able to do every single thing every time but try to cover all bases to at least some degree. Your child will most likely like some activities more than others but as long as every facet of health and fitness is being addressed to some degree, he/she will definitely be the all-around B minus child you’re striving for.