It really is alarming; nearly 31% of Canadian children and youth 5-19 years of age are overweight or obese. And if the trend continues, we’re going to end up with an adult epidemic of obesity. It’s no secret that we have a physical activity deficit in our country. So, emphasizing the importance of physical activity early in life to create habits leading to a healthy lifestyle, is paramount! Hey mom and dad, can you play a role? You bet you can….
Here are a few ways you can help create an active lifestyle for you children:
- Mom and dad’s physical activity level is important. Yep, that’s right! There is definitely a correlation between parents who are active and their children engaging in more physical activity. So, keep it up! It’s important for them as well as you!!
- Being supportive; whether it’s through driving to arenas, providing the necessary equipment, and/or being there for that big game, supporting and encouraging participation is a huge factor in keeping our children active. There’s nothing better than seeing your child make a great play and turn to you with that huge smile on their face!
- Create an environment for your child to participate in a wide variety of activities and sports. The evidence is overwhelming; not only is participation in a variety of sports better for overall development (especially for those under the age of 12), it helps create better athletes when they do ultimately specialize in one sport.
In 2016, the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology released an excellent evidence-based overview of physical activity in children; 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth.
It can’t be emphasized enough, the importance of regular and varied physical activity in our children’s lives. It positively affects all aspects of their growth and development. As parents, we play a vital role in this period of growth and development. The opportunity is there to instill great habits for life!!!!
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