Busy lifestyles make it tough to fit in the exercise our bodies require to stay healthy. With issues such as high blood pressure and type II diabetes occurring in children more frequently and at younger ages, it’s more important than ever to emphasize the importance of regular physical activity to your kids.
Health Canada’s physical activity guidelines recommend that school-aged children and youth get at least 90 minutes of daily exercise. According to their recent study, 88 per cent of Canadian school-aged kids are failing to meet the recommended minimum of 90 minutes a day. This is a huge percentage! That same study explains that in the past 30 years, the percentage of overweight and obese kids and teens has more than doubled. This is an eye-opening fact and one that we should work on changing.
There are several reasons kids and young adults are inactive. Take electronics, for example. We live in a world that is bombarded with technology that is both fun and entertaining, so it can be easy to get distracted. The Kaiser Family Foundation states that kids and youth between the ages of eight to 18 watch approximately 4.5 hours of TV a day. If you give someone the option between playing a video game and partaking in some form of exercise, they’ll probably choose the video game. By making exercise a fun family activity, it becomes less of a chore and more of something they will look forward to doing. Wondering how to make fitness a part of your child’s life? Here are a few suggestions…
Be a positive role model: If you are sitting on the couch, it will be pretty difficult to convince your child to do otherwise. By being active yourself, your child will see that exercise is part of a daily lifestyle.
Establish a routine: Schedule time for activities the same way you would for homework or mealtimes. Your child will start to expect a family walk or bike ride throughout the week, and may even look forward to it!
It’s always more fun with friends: Allow them to invite a friend along to join in activities. Sign them up for a team sport together; this is a great way to encourage an apprehensive child to try something new.
Take advantage of local parks: There are tons of inexpensive ways for your child to be active. This valley has several outdoor areas, such as skate parks, bike tracks and playgrounds, which are both fun and a great way to burn a ton of energy.
An active lifestyle will benefit anyone at any age and the younger your child is, the easier it will be for them to incorporate fitness into their daily routine. Leading by example is a great way to send the message. Fitness 4 Life is about to start up their fall programming. With group sessions starting at only $5 per class and private sessions starting at only $19 per session, getting help is more affordable than you think. Take a look at www.fitness4life.tv for information on how to get started.