Wednesday: Mid Week Ramblings–Raising Active Children
While I was going through my old books from my childhood and I came across one I had forgotten about. It was a Teddy Bear exercise book that my Mom would use for fun with us during the winter months. During the months that it was nice outside we were always encouraged to play outside. We were signed up for sports and went to our local recreation center as a family on Saturdays. But during these winter months we would have fun reading through the book and doing the stretches and exercises. We would even bring our own Teddy Bears along and have them do sit ups along with us.
I have no idea yet, but it seems to me that now raising active children must be so much harder. You always have to find that fine line where you are pushing to much d worry about giving them body complexes but also pushing enough so that they stay active and develop good habits.
Of course the first most important thing we can do is lead by example. Just them watching you take care of your body, even without you saying anything, will probably do much more than anything you can ever say or ask them to do.
It differs in every house, but in my home growing up the TV limit was 1 hour a day. Limiting TV and Computer time and then subsituting the rest of their free time with physical activity is very important.
You can also plan your weekly family activity, family outings and family vacations around physical exercise. A couple Saturdays a month we would go as a family to the rec center to swim, play basketball, racquetball, or run around on the track together. Family outings revolved a lot around hiking, fishing, swimming, walking, playing sports, and water rafting. Some of my favorite memories of us being together as a family include white water rafting, water sports and playing racquetball together.
Encourage your children to have one at least one hobby that revolves around physical exercise. I have no hand eye coordination at all and my parents gave up on putting me in organized sports by the time I reached high school. However they did help me find something I liked, I enjoyed getting to jog around the neighborhood with different friends and playing racquetball on the weekends.
When your children are bored, suggest physically active activities, including: making up their own Olympic games to play and hand out medals at, making up their own obstacle course, or taking the dog on a long needed walk.
Check with your insurance provider and see if the company hosts a yearly Fitness Event, lots do. My health insurance is with Select Health and just in the next 3 months they are hosting a Marathon, Family Fitness Festival (which is free), Tour de Cure, Asthma, Arthritis, and MS Walk, and a Family 5K. www.selecthealth.org/events
Check with your pediatrician to see what exercises are appropriate for your child’s age if you have any questions.
Here are some good resources for more information and ideas: