I know, its sad but true. I’m sure many of you have been watching on the news or reading in the papers this week about new ‘studies’ that have been conducted showing that a dismal 12 per cent of Canadian children are getting the recommended levels of daily physical activity, ranging from a low of 7 per cent in New Brunswick to a high of 15 per cent in British Columbia. Um….did we really need to do a study to tell us that too many children nowadays are overweight, out-of-shape (as if that should even be possible as a child) and under-active? Yeah, I don’t think so either.
When I look around at young, school-aged and pre-school aged kids and see their tummies hanging over their pants, their cheeks red and their little lungs huffing and puffing and seriously looking unwell after long periods of movement or exercise, it both scares me and makes me so sad. When I think of not only the health consequences for these children; increased risk of high blood pressure, type 11 Diabetes, digestive and intestinal disease, allergies, asthma, estrogen dominance, sleep apnea…the list could go on and on, but does it really need to? But also when I think of socially how difficult it will be for those children to have a positive self image and confidence, to shop at the same stores their friends do and possible being ridiculed and made fun of…it’s just not fair.
WE are responsible for getting our OWN children to move, and I know we’re all busy, so if the recommended durations above seem to much to start with then start small. What ever your kids are currently doing activity-wise add 10-minutes per day, or maybe per week, onto that until you reach your goal.
Health Canada’s physical-activity guidelines recommend that school-aged children and youth get at least 90 minutes of exercise daily. Children aged 2-5 about 60-90 minutes, 5-12 90 minutes – 2 hours and 13+ should be active a minimum of 2 hours daily. I know what some of you are thinking…how the heck do I fit that in?
So what can you do with the kids?
sign them up for a sport like soccer, baseball, hockey or swimming.
choose something where music or jumping and bouncing is involved like dance or gymnastics
Maybe something more disciplined like a form of martial arts
the town offers very AFFORDABLE programs year-round, take a peek at those
at home try turning on the music a little louder and rockin’ out with the kids
play in the yard
set up an obstacle course inside or outside using, skipping ropes, hula hoops, benches, recycling bin, chairs, etc…to create something fun for them
do a scavenger hunt that requires them to do a physical movement in order to get the next clue
go for a bike ride or walk with your daughter and her baby in her stroller
ask the kids to walk the dog, rake the leaves, tidy the yard…
put a basketball net up
Seeing anything you like yet? Keep looking!
I think we can all agree one of the most troubling aspects of modern life is how much time children spend glued to the screens of television, computers and electronic games.
On average, Canadian children spend about six hours every weekday and seven hours daily on weekends watching TV, chatting online or engaging in virtual games.
The Healthy Active Kids report card gives Canada an F grade for screen time because 90 per cent of children exceed recommended maximums.
Health groups such as the Canadian pediatric Society recommend that children younger than 2 not watch any TV. Yet the average age at which kids begin watching TV is now five months.
The other issue is not enough family time. Instead of having movie night or video game night, try going for a walk, bowling, swimming, something, anything just move together often.
Best words of life – “What we say is not nearly as important as what we do”, be the example for your children and start exercising – your body needs it too!
Start today for a healthier Family and Children tomorrow:)