Getting Your Kids Active
Studies show the rate of overweight youth in our society today has increased dramatically since the 1970’s. How, as parents, can we change that? There are numerous factors that come into play when addressing this growing concern, but a major one is the activity levels of our kids. Encouraging your children to lead a more active life not only benefits their health, it also helps them with social and developmental skills. There is an endless list of possibilities when it comes to getting our kids active and involved. We’ve put together a few to get you started.
- Organized sports: Whether its baseball, soccer, volleyball, karate or hockey, being part of a team is a great way to get our kids active.
- Walking: If team sports don’t pique your child’s interest, why not make a point of just encouraging them to walk more often? It might be taking the dog for daily walks or spending a Saturday afternoon as a family on one of the many walking trails enjoying nature. If your child’s old enough, consider letting them walk to school instead of driving them.
- Visit an outdoor or indoor play center: Outdoor parks with playground equipment in the summer and indoor play centres in the winter! For little ones, there are numerous places that offer climbing equipment, ball pits and obstacle courses to explore. For the older kids in the family, trampoline parks are always a fun-filled. Way to spend a few hours.
- Swimming: Break out the bathing suits and hit the pool! Swimming is always a fun activity and isn’t just meant for the summer months. There are many communities that offer indoor pools year-round.
- Cycling: This is another great opportunity for family time. Strap on your helmets and hit the pavement. It’s a great opportunity to explore different parts of your community.
- Yard Work: Depending on the season, this could mean shovelling the driveway or raking the leaves. Yard work is great exercise and can be turned into a fun project. Why not have the kids help plant and take care of a fruit or vegetable garden. Gardening is great exercise with the added bonus of being able to enjoy the healthy food they’ve helped produce.
- YMCA: Most communities also offer scheduled or drop-in programs at their local YMCA which have a variety of options available for kids of all ages.
These are just a very few suggestions when it comes to getting the kids off the couch and motivating them to be active. It may take a little trial and error before you find the perfect activity for your kids, but there is something out there for each of them!
Written by the Midland Y’s Men’s Club
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