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What is Physical Literacy?

The term literacy is generally used to describe someone’s proficiency within a written language, although there are other types of literacy (i.e. “my parents are completely computer illiterate!”) that one might refer to.

Physical Literacy can be defined as the “Confidence, competence, understanding and motivation to be physically active throughout the lifespan”. To successfully navigate life as human beings, we need to be comfortable moving in a number of different environments, and this requires the development, and maintenance of fundamental movement skills.

The concept of physical literacy is one that spans from the cradle to the grave. As a society we are generally becoming more and more physically illiterate. As fitness professionals, we aim to address this issue by:

Promoting a varied active lifestyle in young people. Young bodies and minds are much more plastic, and able to consolidate movement skills that they can carry into adulthood. Diversification of physical activity in childhood is key to this movement development

Improving awareness around the importance of physical activity. There is still a belief amongst many that fitness and health is all about body composition and aesthetic goals. This is just one very small aspect of overall health. Physical activity plays a major role in longevity, mental health, and disease & injury prevention.

Training movement skills and physical characteristics (strength, flexibility, endurance, power) in adults, that give them the capacity to safely engage in a wide range of activities.

Helping people find the optimal exercise habits for them. We often say that “Exercise is Medicine”, but the truth is that people don’t always like to take medicine. Rather than being prescriptive in nature, physical activity should be an enjoyable part of people’s lives, and where possible done in a way that fosters stronger relationships and a community spirit. The best exercise is the one that is sustainable and has meaning to the person beyond just working up a sweat and ticking the exercise box.

Whatever your age or fitness level, let us help guide you towards physical literacy and life-long health.


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