By Ken Reed
Sports participation for all is a big issue for the gang at League of Fans. We write about the need for sports participation, physical activity, exercise and physical education in schools on a regular basis.
While the United States is a sports mad country when it comes to spectator sports, we’re couch potatoes when it comes to actual sports participation. Relative to other countries, we’re a sedentary nation.
Childhood obesity is a big problem in this country, as is adult obesity. Healthcare costs are soaring, yet we’re building elementary schools without gyms today.
Club sports and travel teams for elite youth athletes are thriving but recreational youth sports are declining. Most kids are done for sports for life by the time they turn 13.
Europe has club sports organization for athletes from 8 to 80. Meanwhile, club sports opportunities in the United States usually end by the age of 18.
The importance of exercise, whether through organized team sports, pick-up games, individual sports or other physical activities was made very clear to me when I came across a New York Times article written by Aaron E. Carroll titled, “Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug? Try Exercise.” It’s a quick synopsis of the many benefits of exercise, especially relative to pharmaceutical drugs.
Of all the things we as physicians can recommend for health, few provide as much benefit as physical activity.
In 2015, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges put out a report calling exercise a “miracle cure.” This isn’t a conclusion based simply on some cohort or case-control studies. There are many, many randomized controlled trials. A huge meta-analysis examined the effect of exercise therapy on outcomes in people with chronic diseases.
There are several nuggets in Carroll’s article. One side effect of reading the piece: You’ll feel a sudden urge to back away from your computer or television and get moving.
Indulge the urge.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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