England Rugby former captain Lawrence Dallaglio, recently spoke at the ukactive National Summit in London and explained that a recent meeting with an eminent pulmonologist had highlighted the biggest challenge facing their industry. Childhood asthma which in generations to come will morph into adult asthma.
The pulmonologist explained that the hard tissues of the respiratory system are formed during childhood by pressure from “inside” the body. As children grow and are healthy and active, they run around and gasp for air, the pressure this exerts forces the trachea to widen and expand, growing large healthy and open airways.
Simply, if there is a lack of exercise at these critical stages of their development, it means that the small airways will not grow, and nothing can be done after the growth phase of a child has been completed. So, if we do not encourage children to exercise and get out of breath, we are raising a generation of children who will be asthmatic adults, with limited ability to draw a full breath in comfort.
Yet another reason why children should be encouraged to ‘play hard’ and get out of breath. At next year’s National Sports Convention, we will focus on health reasons and other broad-based benefits of why participation in play, recreation and sport should be part of far broader agendas.