Written by Sarah Milano
As a parent, you are the one that sets the fitness example in your home. If you don’t partake in physical activities then your children, most likely will grow up not partaking in physical activities. This can result in myriad of health problems including obesity, and it really stifles the essence of being a child.
With adult and childhood obesity rates rising every year in Australia and all over the world, now is the time to make changes in your family’s lifestyle. These days, there are at least 5 video game platforms and endless supplies of video games marketed at children. While playing video games in itself isn’t detrimental – it’s the frequency and duration that children are playing games that is causing a problem.
Part of the reason that childhood obesity has risen so drastically is that kids are choosing to stay inside playing video games and watching television instead of playing outside and participating in physical activities. If they see their parents constantly inside working on their computers or sitting in front of the television, this becomes their lifestyle, too.
The Australian Government Department of Health recommends that children spend at least one hour of moderate or vigorous activity each day. Obviously, you aren’t going to have your child run on a treadmill or workout at a gym, so how do you ensure that they are getting the proper amount of exercise?
Think of fun physical activities that you and your child can do together. Not only is this a great way to bond but it is a fun way to exercise and won’t feel like a chore. Here are a few good options:
Walking is the easiest type of physical activity to fit into your day and it is also a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Consider walking your child to/from school, walking to local stores or even taking an evening walk around the neighbourhood.
Kids love to ride their bikes because it gives them a way to get around without needing a license to drive a car. Buy a bike of your own, and set off on bike trails together.
If you have a swimming pool, this is a convenient way to exercise with your child. Try having swimming races together or see who can swim more laps to really get both of your hearts pumping. If you don’t have a pool at home, look into joining a local pool club.
A simple playing ball can provide you with the ability to play a few different sports in your own backyard. You can kick it, hit it and chase after it – all giving both you and your child some exercise.
Your local area probably has at least one scenic area that would be fun to explore with your child. Map out locations that are a short distance away, and have explorations on the weekend. Mountains, canyons, caves, countryside and even beach locations provide beautiful scenery and uneven terrain for you to climb and enjoy.
The possibilities are endless! As long as your heart is pumping, you are getting cardiovascular exercise and starting your child out toward a healthy lifestyle. Best of all, together you will enjoy every minute of it.