Parents and guardians all over the country face a constant struggle to unearth new and exciting ways of keeping the family amused for the eternity that is the dreaded school holiday. Even a regular weekend can present its own battles!
For adults struggling to find the time to fit exercise into their day without forsaking family time, pitching in provides the perfect antidote. What better way to encourage the kids to keep active than to get involved yourself. Supporting them to lead an active lifestyle is a sure-fire way of ensuring that they become active, healthy adults. Sitting them down in front of a television or a computer game is not!
It is vitally important to get children into the exercise habit at a young age - not just to help them maintain a suitable body weight - but also to help lower their risk of health problems in later life such as heart disease. To help youngsters reach their full growth potential, they should aim for 60 minutes of physical activity, five times a week. And this 60 minutes needn’t all be done in one go. Break it up into manageable chunks of 2 x 30 or 3 x 20 minute sessions.
Parents and guardian have an important role to play in the shaping of children’s attitudes and behaviours towards physical activity. It is never too late or too early to get young people into the habit of living a healthy lifestyle and the number one thing you can do is to be a good role model. Let them know that being physically fit doesn’t mean you have to go to exercise classes or play sports – although these are two great options! Hiking and camping, playing frisbee, a trip to the zoo, skipping rope, dancing or shooting basketball hoops are all activities that the whole family can enjoy.