Children need to be active to be healthy – not just for their childhood – but to develop the skills and behaviours to lead a healthy and active life.
Childhood obesity is at all time record highs and the World Health Organisation attribute it to the increase in high energy dense foods, coupled with reduced activity. This pattern is suggested to increase the likelihood of obesity and chronic disease as an adult (but with these health issues also occurring at an earlier age).
Kids of today are often not moving as much as children of the past. In my view this is probably caused by 3 main things. Safety (parents keeping kids at home to keep them safe), electronic leisure activities (on demand tv and video games), and likely parents themselves aren’t active enough (therefore less likely to take the kids to the park to kick a ball around).
How do we stop this trend?
Be a positive role model!
I was fortunate enough to grow up with a father who was a fantastic active role model.
My dad was an inspiration when I was growing up. He was very active!
- Squash 2x/week
- Tennis 2x/week
- Golf 1x/wk
- Bike rides or play time with my brother and I throughout the week
Now you don’t have to have sporting aspirations to be a role model – One of my greatest memories that I have as a kid was the Sunday walks to the shop to get the newspaper. This was a special time, as it was just my dad and I walking early on a Sunday morning. We were the only ones that did it – it was our time (the weekly vanilla slice from the continental store was probably the another good motivator!!).
Now that I have children, I have also taken this role model path and hopefully showing my kids that being active, and eating healthy is a normal lifestyle.
We walk our dogs with the kids, we have a home gym and have started using it whist the kids are awake (so they can see us exercising), my daughter joins in when I’m doing morning yoga (she say “come on daddy, lets do stretches”), and we have started doing a weekly fun run with our kids in prams (my daughter woke 60mins early yesterday so excited to do our weekly “running race”!)
Our children do what they see, not often what we say – so lets show them that being active and healthy is the normal and fun way to live our lives (It certainly worked for me following my fathers footsteps – thanks Dad!).
Get out there and be active!
Posted in: Exercise