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updated: 8/7/2013 11:27 AM

Challenge Issued to Wheeling Parents

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Brandon Noel

On average, children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen and less than 20% of adults meet the 30-minutes of recommended activity each day as indicated by President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

Today starts National Exercise With Your Child Week, which runs from August 4-10, and the Illinois Taekwondo State Association is joining this worthwhile movement by issuing a challenge to encourage Wheeling parents to, literally, jump in and get involved with their children.

"Wheeling parents can use this week as an opportunity to bond with their children by introducing a new physical activity," stated Luciano Medina, President of the Illinois Taekwondo State Association (ITSA). "Taekwondo is very much a family sport and one of the few organized activities in which parents and children can do it together."

According to Dr. Sue Walsh, Associate Professor of Health Science at Concordia University, "It's important for Wheeling parents to know that their involvement can lead to increased levels of physical activity for their children." Walsh indicated that a parent's participation could include both modeling (being active with their children) and/or supporting them logistically during activities (such as signing them up and taking them.) "Either way, parents should know that simply being involved could create an important emotional link between them and their children being physically active."

"The ITSA is on the right path with their challenge for National Exercise With Your Child Week," stated Bruce Harris, CEO of USA Taekwondo, the non-profit governing body for the sport of taekwondo to the US Olympic Committee. "USA Taekwondo member clubs throughout Illinois and the United States are an excellent way for parents and children to both combat the statistics indicated by the President's council as well as act as a great bonding experience for families."

The ITSA is encouraging Wheeling parents to check out taekwondo as a way to exercise with their children and have some fun doing it. Medina indicated that the majority of taekwondo schools throughout Illinois offer family classes/training and typically provide the opportunity for a free trial. But they should contact their local school to find out for sure.