5 Ways To Get Your Kids More Active

Canadian kids aren't as active as they need to be. Here are five ways to get your kids active this summer


 

Canadian children are getting a failing grade when it comes to staying active. Last week, Active Healthy Kids Canada released their annual report card, where Canadian children and youth received a “D-” for their overall levels of physical activity. Not enough children are meeting that 60-180 minute requirement of daily exercise. This is something parents need to help change if they want their children to live a healthy, active life. It’s not hard to do and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You can easily incorporate physical activity into your child’s everyday life so that it doesn’t have to feel like exercise, but more like play. So turn off the TV and  put the iPad away because folks, it’s time to get our kids active again.

Here are five simple ways to incorporate physical activity into your child’s everyday life:

Walk, walk, walk. Leave the car in the driveway and stretch those legs. Walk your kids to school instead of dropping them off by car. If you have a dog, get your kids to take them on walks around the neighbourhood. Or get to know your community a little better. Take your child for a fun walk around the area and discover new locales, stores and markets.

Go for a bike ride. This is a definite upgrade from walking and a fun way to get around. Take your kids for a ride around the neighbourhood or through the local park along their beautiful bike trails. Just make sure they wear a helmet! HELPFUL TIP: Get your child accustomed to bike riding even before they can even reach the pedals! If you have a toddler, consider taking them place to place by bike. There are a variety of great child trailers for bikes that you can purchase. Your child will soon learn that biking is a great way to get around. Once they get a bit older, around 4-5 years old, upgrade to a trail-a-bike attachment so you and your child can bike together. And before you know it, they’ll be riding their own two-wheeler! The earlier you expose them to bike riding, the more inclined they’ll feel to riding it as they get older.

Go for a dip. Take advantage of the hot weather and take your and your kids for a swim. It's a great way to cool off and it encourages all sorts of play. It's also the perfect time to give your child basic swim lessons. It can be as simple as teaching them how to float, how to doggie paddle, practice their swim kicks and so on. Just remember to always keep your children supervised and make sure your younger ones wear a life jacket if they need one.

Outdoor play. Before the time of iPads, laptops and even cable TV, many of us grew up playing outside. And heck, if we could do it, so can our kids. Take them out for a fun game of tag, hide-and-go-seek, even play some hopscotch. Go to your local park and play catch or a game of soccer. Outdoor play is a fun way to stay active and also a great opportunity for the family to bond together.

Get jiggy with it. For the days you're stuck inside your home, why not turn up your favourite tune and bust a move! I mean who doesn't like a good dance off once in a while? This is the perfect activity for toddlers, infants  and young children who love dancing to a fun beat.

The real secret to keeping your child active and healthy is leading by example. If they see that you're taking the initiative to stay active, they’ll soon follow. Also, no one should have to go at it alone, exercise together! All the activities we mentioned above are all great ways for the family to stay fit together. Because a healthy family is a happy one.

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