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MVPA (Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity) and HappyFeet Soccer

Date Posted: 7/30/2014

MVPA – “Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity” and HappyFeet Soccer
What Exactly is MVPA and why is it Important for the Growth and Development of my Child?

MVPA (Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity) refers to the intensity of physical activity (i.e. how hard a person works during exercise). An individual involved in MVPA will typically experience increased breathing, an elevated heart rate and perspiration.

Contrary to popular belief, a variety of research highlights the average preschool child does not meet the recommendations for the amount of time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity on a daily or weekly basis (Brown& Brewer, 2011; Story, Kaphingst & French, 2006).

It is important that young children meet the current recommendations of 60 minutes of MVPA per day (NASPE, 2012) for a variety of health reasons. Regular, age appropriate MVPA decreases the likelihood that children will develop health complications as a result of being overweight in later years, improves the efficiency of vital organs and muscles in the body, and also results in significant development of gross motor skills (CDC, 2011).

If the overall goal of early childhood education is to provide a foundation for children to lead an optimal life and become productive citizens, the health benefits associated with regular MVPA undoubtedly make it an integral part of a young person's daily and weekly schedule.

The HappyFeet soccer program undoubtedly helps achieve the daily MVPA required for children. MVPA is important not only for improving a child's performance related and soccer specific fitness (e.g. balance, coordination, agility), it also develops the major components of health related fitness (e.g. strength, endurance, flexibility). While all of these attributes are important for the successful athlete, a more proficient physical body also enhances a child's ability to explore and discover for more sustained periods.

In essence, the more physically capable a young child is, the more comfortable and confident they are as they travel and learn in their unique world!  

Article wriiten by Gary Lynch: Professor:  Health and Elementary School Education at USC Upstate. Masters in Early Childhood education, former owner Upstate HappyFeet Franchise, SC.

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