It is evident that kids are becoming more inactive then ever before. Video games, TV, computer and other electronics are equaling more screen time than active play time amongst the youth population. Parents need to understand that for optimal health in children and youth, they need to sweat, step, sleep and sit the right amounts (1). Summer can be an excellent time to instill new routines, as homework is no longer a nightly commitment. Instead, use that time to get active as a family or register your child in a new sporting activity.
What are the health benefits of being active?
Yes, we can include overall physical appearance but lets take a perspective and look deeper to what changes inside of the human body. Health benefits can include better cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness, academic achievement and cognition, emotional regulation, pro-social behaviours, cardiovascular and metabolic health, and overall quality of life (1).
In June 2016, a group of organizations came together to create the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth where full details can be found here (2). Below is a depiction of what parent’s should seek to include in their child’s everyday routine. The idea is that children and youth need to be more active and less inactive on a 24-hr basis and not stopping at the “weekend warrior” where all physical activity is solely done over Saturday and Sunday.
Looking for ideas to be active?
Below is a short list of options. For further information we suggest looking at your local leisure center guide or community calendar for more options to get your kids involved in physical activity and to meet new friends!
• Walking (vigorously)
• Bike Riding
• Jump Rope
• Obstacle Course
• Roller Blading