52 Weeks of Healthy Eating: Physical Literacy

This week, I want to look at a concept I came across in a recent training, the idea of physical literacy. Physical literacy is defined as “the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” – The International Physical Literacy Association, May 2014.

In this blog, I talk a lot about nutrition and this truly is only part of the puzzle. As poor diets are the trend right now, little to no movement is also observed as a trend. I get it, excercise can be hard and at times, sucks. There are plenty of times I don’t want to get out of bed at 0500 on a Saturday for a 20 mile run, but I do anyway.

As with all development, teaching physical literacy begins when you are young. Play is a child’s primary language and a parent that does not play with their child misses a key component in creating the strong bonds that will eventually develop into emotional maturity and other skills important for commuicating effiectively and efficiently. A lack of physical movement in the fist five years can be attributed to overall decreased motor skills and coordination in grade school which leads to decreased motor confidence in the tween years which then leads to further sedentary behaviors in the teen and adult years. In turn, this will evently lead to adverse health outcomes as one becomes an adult.

In what will become a series of posts based on what I am working on understanding through some continuing education I am doing, I will show that losing weight is not as simple as not eating or restricting calories and exercising. Physical literacy is one of those reasons. If you do not know how to move efficiently and effectively, moving can be not fun and even downright uncomfortable or embarrasing in the case of playing a simple game of pick up baseball or basketball.

In my training by the American Council of Exercise(ACE), they talk about the categories of skills for physical literacy:

1. Locomotor skills: running, jumping, hopping and skipping

2. Object control skills: Catching, throwing, kicking and bouncing

3. Stability skills: Balancing, twisting, rotating and landing.

The following graph are the types of fundamental skills one should attain for physical literacy.

Fundamental movement skills needed to develop physical literacy

Ellerton, H. (2020, November 25). What is physical literacy and why is it important for children today? Human Kinetics Blog. https://humankinetics.me/2018/06/27/what-is-physical-literacy/

For adults, a predictor of long term health is the abilty of one to get off of the floor from the supine position. Practicing Turkish Get Ups is an essential exercise to work on this skill. Your health is greatly related to how effectively and efficiently you can get off the floor using the minimal amount of limbs. For example, as a martial artist, I can get off the floor from the supine position just by rocking onto my feet and standing up.

Check out these two PDF’s regarding physical literacy for adults/aging

Click to access PhysicalLiteracy_AspenInstitute-FINAL.pdf

Click to access 2013-jun-physical-literacy.pdf

This week’s menu is super simple because I was busy this last weekend with a lot of endurance training. I put in 15 hours of training last week and covered my 30 miles of running for the week. I am close to 100 miles of running for the month of April, my goal for this month. Despite my best go at it on the bike, I fell short by 2 hours. No excuses, I just did not put in the work.

This week I am eating a no boil lasgne and a ham and cheese quiche. Both of which are fairly accessible online.

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