Walt Disney Would Love Patch Fitness

So, what do Walt Disney and Patch Fitness have in common?  In my opinion, more than you might realize.  One of the people I follow on Twitter posted this great quote from Walt Disney today:

Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.

It rang so true with me that it has inspired this blog post. For those of you reading this who don’t know what Patch Fitness is, I would encourage you to check out the website. The goal of The Patch is to bring ‘fun’ back to working out. Remember when we were kids and we’d spend all day outside riding bikes, digging holes, climbing trees, and just being kids? Well, that’s what the Patch is all about. It’s about being a kid. For some of us it’s been a while since we’ve been a kid. For others it’s been a while since we’ve even acted like a kid. Patch Fitness gets the body moving like it used to when we were younger; Eight-years-old-on-a-summer-day kind of moving. Remember those days? I knew you would!  My question to you adults is, when was the last time you skipped, hopped, climbed or crawled?  If you can’t remember the last time, stop reading right now, pick one of those actions and do it.  Then come back and finish reading!

The bigger goal of Patch Fitness lies in the Patch Project Initiative. Our goal with the PPI is to get a Patch Indoor ‘O’ Course in every school in the nation. Free.  We’ll donate it if you use it.  We want to be industry leaders in fighting childhood obesity, diabetes, and ADD & ADHD. I believe a LOT of what our kids are experiencing–weight gain, deteriorating health, and increased dependence on medication–can be diminished or prevented all together with nothing more than a little movement.

I’m sure a lot of you are thinking the obvious: Schools have physical education. But, that isn’t necessarily the case. According to the Center for Disease Control :

‘3.8% of elementary schools, 7.9% of middle schools, and 2.1% of high schools provided daily physical education or its equivalent (150 minutes per week in elementary schools; 225 minutes per week in middle schools and high schools) for the entire school year (36 weeks) for students in all grades in the school.’

Does that alarm anyone else? Because it CERTAINLY does me. Two percent? Two percent! That’s a number that, to be honest, is nothing short of unacceptable.

So, where am I going with this? What’s the link between the Disney quote and Patch Fitness? I think by not providing daily movement, physical education, and even recess, we are waisting a very valuable resource. According to Disney, our MOST valuable resource…the minds of our children.

You see, I believe there is a HUGE link between movement and brain stimulation. When we move–hitting a baseball, kicking a football, shooting a basketball, dancing, blowing on a trumpet–something amazing happens. Both sides of the brain start to talk to each other. The analytical mixes with the creative. The painting brain gives a ‘How do ya do!’ to the number-crunching brain. The scientist becomes a song writer. And it all happens in that magical space between our ears. You don’t have to take my word for it. Check out Dr. John Ratey’s book, ‘Spark‘ and decide for yourself. He’s a Harvard professor and I’m a Yale guy, so you have to know that I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t believe it!

So, Mr. Disney, thank you. Thank you for realizing what a precious gift we have in our kids and their minds. Let’s just hope we don’t waste this resource in an effort to ‘educate’ our kids.

I’d love to hear your opinions! Teachers? Parents? Does this trend concern anyone else?