What exactly is Generation Pound?
It is a youth-appropriate workout, born of the Pound Fit brand, based on drumming. The idea behind this ingenious program is that it aspires to develop a lifelong love for physical activity in young people by giving them a passion for it in early life. It aims to achieve this by fusing fundamental fitness and motor skills with music, great choreography and a serious amount of fun and noise. What’s not to like if you’re a budding rock star aged 6-12?
Generation Pound is more than just a workout for kids. Its aspirations are much loftier and its aims more visionary than that. Physical inactivity is responsible for 1 in 6 adult deaths in the UK each year. Around 34% of men and 42% of women are not active enough to maintain good health. Getting out and moving is a serious deterrent to cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression. Despite an awful lot of government campaigning, the message is slow to get through to the adult population, so the thinking behind Generation Pound is to set the seeds to a healthy active lifestyle in young minds without them realizing it. Physically active youngsters tend to remain physically active adults. That is Generation Pound and it’s brilliant.
And the bonus is that Generation Pound has the ability to transform the lives of our young people, right now. So many have issues with self-esteem, depression and mental health as well as being unfit or overweight. James Gallagher, Health and Science Correspondent for the BBC reported in late 2019 that four in five 11-17 year olds globally are not getting the minimum 60 minutes recommended physical activity a day. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is damaging to the development of young brains and is effecting social skills. Active kids are fitter, stronger and less likely to be the victims of bullying, and there is evidence that they have better cognitive function, that is they learn better. It’s a total win win
So, why are young people today less active? Are they lazy? Dr Fiona Bull of WHO doesn’t think so. “It’s not about children. It’s the neglect and failure of us to prioritise physical activity”, she says. Looking at the facts:
• The focus today is on academic performance over physical fitness
• There are issues around fitness facilities that are safe, accessible and affordable
• The rise of digital play means young people are isolated and immobile for large parts of the day
Perfect for Primary Schools and Community Halls
Generation Pound aims to get their program into schools and create a little fitness revolution like the original Pound brand has done in the community. The most foresighted educational professionals can see that physical activity enhances academic achievement; movement and cognitive development go hand in hand. The brains behind Generation Pound get it, and so do we. That is why 24 Fit Derby has been taking Generation Pound taster sessions into our local primary schools since January 2019. Five schools have now signed up to regular sessions either at lunchtime or after school and more are waiting to try it out.
We asked some Year 2s what they thought of their drumming sessions. They were all super enthusiastic and said they would do it again straight away. Result ! That is exactly the aim of the program, to bite them with the fitness bug. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“ Performing on stage is really good because we feel happy and smiley doing it”
“We love doing the Rainbow because stretching is really important”
“We love doing it because it’s good for our bodies. It is tiring but fun. We always leave smiling”
Fabulous isn’t it? If you have children at Primary school, and they have not yet tried Generation Pound aka Drummercise, then ask the teachers to get in touch with 24 Fit Derby for some free taster sessions.
There’s great news too! 24 Fit Derby are now running Saturday morning Generation Pound sessions, so search them out and book your kids in for their free trial! If they like it, here’s your chance for a kid-free Saturday morning shopping routine!
More about Pound and Generation Pound
Pound is a Rockout Workout, aimed at adults, with the mantra ‘Mind, Body, Inner Rockstar’ . It is a full body cardio session inspired by the infectious and energizing fun of playing the drums. ‘Rockers’ use special weighted drumsticks called Ripstix and undertake a fun, challenging cardio workout that incorporates strength training, body conditioning and Yoga/Pilates movements. We all have an innate rhythm. The earth has a natural rhythm. It vibrates. So do we.
Mickey Hart, drummer with Grateful Dead said, “Life is about rhythm. We vibrate. Our hearts are pumping blood. We are a rhythm machine, that’s what we are”
During a Pound class, with Ripstix in hand, participants become the music, they become that rhythm.
Generation Pound takes the same mantra of Mind, Body, Rockstar and adapts it to a fitness session young people will love and have fun with. And it is having positive effects on the young mindset.
How can Generation Pound make a difference?
Just by giving young people the opportunity and more importantly the desire to move. Movement is vital to a healthy body and a healthy mind. As well as increasing blood flow to the brain and shaping the muscles, the lungs, the heart and the bones it has a direct impact on the nervous system because it has to be learned.
John J Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School has said, “ Movement is crucial to every other brain function, including memory, emotion, language and learning. Our higher brain functions have evolved from movement and still depend on it”
Young people often struggle to handle emotions and feelings related to self-worth. They lack the life skills and the thinking skills that come with maturity. A lack of self-worth makes kids embarrassed or afraid to participate in physical activity, in case they mess up or aren’t good enough. Generation pound is inclusive. It positively promotes respect for diverse body types and different levels of performance. Messing up is fun, not an embarrassment. It gives young people a place to make mistakes without serious consequences. It emphasizes enthusiasm and effort over accomplishment, competition and comparison
Through the use of clever choreography, activities and challenges that use game and play environments, Generation Pound introduces fun and novel ways for kids to move. Exercise trains young people to deal with the positive adrenaline surge associated with physical activity, and by extension, hopefully, equips them to deal with the adrenaline surge associated with the pressures they meet in other walks of life.Physical activity improves cognitive function. Yes, you learn better. When anyone undertakes physical activity, it feeds neurotropins in the brain. Without getting too scientific, these are chemical packages that help neurons talk to each other more effectively. Basically, the better and faster the communication between neurons, the quicker we grasp, process, understand and use information. The rhythm and the rapid beat synonymous with Generation Pound alters alters brainwave frequencies and improves blood flow to the brain, enhancing focus and decision making.
And let’s not forget the feel-good factor that goes hand in hand with this amazing program. Generation Pound uses great music to lift the mood and relieve anxiety. Music is a wonderful thing. It relieves the boredom of repetition, it adds a great atmosphere to any activity, it brings people together in a universal language, and it can take the mind on a journey of imagination, firing up the creative juices and leading to a strong sense of accomplishment.
Movement is the most effective way of improving brain function. Elderly people who dance regularly have a 76% decreased risk of dementia. (New England Journal of Medicine 2003). It is clear that exercise is key to a future generation that ages healthily, and that to achieve this, the seeds need to be sown early on. Generation Pound is not just a workout for kids. It is a movement that aims to change the concept of health and fitness for today’s youth. It IS getting through. It IS making a difference. And you can be part of this New Generation right here in Derby. Get ready to make fitness about self-expression, empowerment and fun – oh and a lot of NOISE!