If you have been following our journey over the last number of years you will know that we have developed a very successful physical activity, nutrition, health and lifestyle programme for adults of all ages called True Transformation. Dr Diane Cooper created this programme based on the outcome of her PhD in weight loss and health, the lessons learned from her continued research in the areas of weight loss and health, and also her 15 years of experience working with clients in our True Fitness health and weight loss clinic. To date we have worked with hundreds of adults and helped them to transform their lives. More recently we have decided to use our knowledge and skills to create very specific health and lifestyle programmes for the younger members of our community. So, we are very excited to say that we have now officially launched our True Transformation for Kids and True Transformation for Teens programmes!!
Find out about out True Transformation for Kids here! http://www.truefitness.ie/news/true-transformation-kids/
Our first 6-week True Transformation for Teens programme was held in Portlaoise in January and February 2018. We were delighted to work with an amazing groups of teens during this time. So, firstly we would like to say a gigantic thank you to these teens and their support team. You have all made the last 6 weeks very exciting and enjoyable for us, we have loved working with you all!
Importantly, we would also like to say a huge thank you to Laois Sports Partnership who have funded much of this True Transformation journey over the last 3 years and continue to do so with these youth programmes. This work could not take place without their support and we have been able to help so many lives because of it.
Why did we develop True Transformation for Teens?
Adolescence is a period of heightened concern regarding physical inactivity and obesity. The incidence of obesity increases during this age period and tends to continue into adulthood (Gorgon-Larsen, 2001). The prevalence of overweight, obesity and physical inactivity has increased exponentially in recent years. Obesity is now the 5th leading cause of mortality globally but more importantly physical inactivity has been identified as the 4th leading cause of mortality (WHO, 2010). Unfortunately, the increase in the prevalence of obesity over time is very evidence in Ireland. The most recent representative data for Ireland shows that 37% of the Irish adult population is overweight and a further 24% is obese (IUNA, 2010). By the year 2030 it is predicted that the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Irish adults will reach 89% and 85% in males and females respectively (Keaver et al. 2013). Unfortunately, this issue is not exclusive to Irish adults. Recent research shows that 19% of 9 year olds are overweight and 7% are obese (Growing up in Ireland, 2011). This translates into a total of 30% of girls and 22% of boys being classified as either overweight or obese (Growing up in Ireland, 2011). The last prediction of childhood obesity in 2005, based on UK values, estimated the prevalence of obesity in Irish children is expected to rise by 10,000 per year (National Obesity Task Force, 2005).
The cause of obesity is ultimately due to overconsumption of energy dense foods and reduced physical activity levels, although there are many other complex factors involved that lead to these two behaviours. The data that is available to date shows that only 41% of Irish adults took part in the recommended amount of physical activity per week in 2007 (SLAN, 2007). Children are very much influenced by the environment that they live in and the health behaviours of the adults around them. The 2008 report by the Health Behaviours in School Aged Children established that only 53% of Irish children were active for the recommended 60 minutes or more on 5 or more days per week (HSBC, 2008). The reported frequency of physical activity is 25% lower in children aged 15-17 years compared to children aged 10-11 years, indicating that children become less active in their teenage years, with girls consistently reported less active than aged matched boys (HSBC, 2008).
There is a need to determine the optimal intervention that decreases the growing prevalence of physical inactivity and obesity within Irish teenagers, particularly female teenagers. There is a need to understand the current knowledge of adolescents surrounding healthy eating and physical activity and to develop health education and physical activity interventions that are completely specific to their needs, interests and goals. These types of interventions will play an important role in guiding strategies that are effective in the treatment of obesity and changing behaviours in favour of physical activity (Gorgon-Larsen, 2001).
What is True Transformation for Teens?
It is a 6-week programme where we work with the teenagers twice per week and each session in 60 minutes in duration. The overall aim of True Transformation for Teens is to carry out a physical activity and health programme specifically for adolescents and deliver it in a fun, practical and creative manner so that the participants gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills about, and learn the importance of, The Health Related Components of Fitness.
Each session focuses on one specific Health Related Component of Fitness (e.g. Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Muscular Endurance, Flexibility, Body Composition, and Muscular Strength) and facilitates both theoretical and practical elements to be experienced during the session. The sessions are extremely interactive and we adapt the sessions and content to cater for the Health and Fitness interests of the Teens, which creates an enjoyable and interesting experience for them. We also incorporate fun activities focused on nutrition requirements for teens so that they can gain an understanding of this from the perspective of their own health and well-being. The variety of teaching styles we use to deliver of the sessions is very important. This technique maximises the impact of the programme for all participants due to the fact that everyone learns via their own unique learning style or combination of same.
Each 1 hour session composes of;
- Introduction to the weekly focus of the class and interactive discussion
- Dynamic warm up
- Mini warm up game based on session focus
- Exercise circuit/conditioned game based on weekly focus
- Cool down, static stretches and relaxation
What are the benefits of participating in True Transformation for Teens?
Our feedback from the teens to date is that it is an extremely fun, interesting, motivating and enjoyable programme. But apart from the fun and enjoyable element, increasing knowledge of the importance of health and fitness and the ability to carry out activities that increase health and fitness will enable the teens to apply the knowledge and skills gained from the programme to their daily lives. This will enhance their overall health and also contribute to ameliorating the national and global trend of obesity and physical inactivity in youth and adulthood.