Fitness to Combat Bullying

Teenagers and kids discuss your fitness concerns here.

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Fitness to Combat Bullying

Post by JamesVillepigue »

I may be an international best selling author in the fitness industry, but I got beginnings as a fat kid that endured plenty of cruel bullying. Those early experiences helped catapult me into fitness, and I never looked back. I've been a trainer now 22 years, and even published books on showing younger generations that fitness can be a huge weapon against bullying. Here are a few reasons:

1) Bully's most often leave confident kids alone, even the smaller ones who stand up to them are typically avoided. Confidence from fitness isn't about being sexy, or having abs, it's about knowing your body, being comfortable within it, and walking with your head up.

2) Being strong gives younger kids the opportunity to stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves. At the end of the day, the only real place to end the fight against bullying is on the school yard. The more children we have on the playground and in the halls that are in shape, confident, and strong who can stand up against bully's the better. This doesn't mean starting fights, or even ending them, it just means standing up, and if need be, in between those that need help and the bully's.

3) Even those kids that have a bully temperament can be guided to a better way through fitness. Most often kids bully because they themselves are suffering. Exercise and physical training can boost their self esteem as well, and help them realize that there's a more honorable and respectful way to behave.

One of the major contributing factors to the rise of bullying in opinion, is the decrease in competitive sports and physical education in our public schools. Coupled with the obesity crisis facing our children, along with diabetes epidemic, it's more important than ever to do what we can to make sure the system is getting our young ones in shape and confident.


James Villepigue
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Re: Fitness to Combat Bullying

Post by Spack »

Although I agree with the importance of emphasizing fitness, exercise and sport to children, I disagree that there is any positive correlation between participation in sport and decreasing bullying.

Over 2011-2012 the Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded participation of adults and school children in both sport and physical recreation activities. The participation of students aged 11-17 in team sports outside school had rocketed to a promising 78%. However, between the 2003 and 2011 reports on the education system and impacts of bullying there was a 10% (roughly) increase over the same period which saw sporting participation grow from 55 to 78%.

As a recent graduate and representative at the Youth Olympics, I'm going to disagree that 'Fitness' in the sense of physical presence or confidence to stand up and confront an individual is a process which should be promoted to reduce bullying. Never would I believe that promoting conflict, or circumstances which could result in conflict (opposing a bully) be the ideal solution to a problem.

I do believe that team sports and the attitudes which can be developed in an athlete are the ideal solution to bullying. Successful athletes develop a great understanding of patience, focus, dedication and appreciation for others, which is a great solution to the problem of bullying. Having the patience to not rise to a bully's antics, the understanding to appreciate why an individual may be bullying others and being mature enough to walk away from the conflict.

If when talking about fitness, we are discussing the characteristics which develop the best of Olympians, then that is a great solution to bullying. However, to in any way promote a situation which could cause conflict is doing a great injustice to the potential of athletes.
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Re: Fitness to Combat Bullying

Post by Trish0102 »

What you have gone through is very inspiring. It is never easy to grow up in an environment where people are treating you because of physical appearance. Glad you have gone through is successfully.
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Re: Fitness to Combat Bullying

Post by toddhicks209 »

I agree that being strong helps produce confidence in the ability to stand up to bullies. However, I disagree that taking up fitness will change those who are bullies because being big and strong can easily persuade them to pick on those smaller and weaker than them. It takes a combination of physically strong would-be victims, lessons in self defense and zero tolerance for bullying to stop bullies.
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