Have you seen the new Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines? They were published in September 2019 and provide update from 2011 guidelines based on research available. Of note, the importance of strength has been highlighted:

‘Being active every day provides a foundation for a healthier and happier life. The recommendations we made in 2011 on muscle strength have not achieved the recognition we believe they merit. We therefore want to underline the importance of regular strength and balance activities: being strong makes all movement easier and increases our ability to perform normal daily tasks. ‘

We are proud to say that Fit for Life has a significant focus on building strength. Initially with the childrens’ own body weight being used for resistance and as children move through the programme and build their strength using weighted equipment for manipulation movements

This graphic from the CMO guidelines shows that resistance training and circuit training which both feature within the FFL programme produce a strong effect in the improvement of muscle function and bone health. As well as, a medium effect in balance.

The recommended physical activity guidelines for Children and Young People aged 5 -18 are:

  • Children and young people should engage in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity for an average of at least 60 minutes per day across the week. This can include all forms of activity such as physical education, active travel, after-school activities, play and sports.
  • Children and young people should engage in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscular fitness, and bone strength.
  • Children and young people should aim to minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary, and when physically possible should break up long periods of not moving with at least light physical activity.

Our aim for Fit for Life is to support schools to help children to achieve these guidelines and lead healthy active lifestyles. We particularly focus on the ‘vigorous intensity’ levels and to ‘develop movement skills, muscular fitness, and bone strength.