Raising Active Kidsby Mariève Inoue
published April 19, 2010
Exercising every day is a big part of staying healthy, as a child and as a grown-up; that’s why it’s super important to teach your kids to get moving, rather than being glued to the TV, the computer screen or the video game console. We’ve got some simple tips to help make sure your little ones grow up being active, and adopting healthy exercise habits.
Be a good example. We asked David Pelletier, Olympic Pairs Figure Skating Bronze medallist, how he makes sure his son Jesse grows up being active. He told us that “Kids don’t listen, but they do imitate”. This is why it’s so important to be active yourself, and to get moving with them, setting the right example.
Fun activity suggestions:
• Play catch in the backyard;
• Take up badminton or tennis with your child;
• Take the whole family swimming;
• Install a basketball hoop in the driveway;
• Get geared up for some street hockey in summer or hit the skating rink in winter;
• Take a long bike ride on a bike path, or a shorter one around the block.
Being active together doesn’t just mean doing sports. Also set a good example through everyday habits, like:
• Taking the stairs when possible instead of the escalator or elevator;
• Walking to your destination with your kids if it’s close enough instead of taking the car;
• Enthusiastically choosing to do an activity outside when the weather is nice, rather than staying indoors.
Openly boast the benefits of exercise. By talking to your kids about how good you feel after working out, or how much of a good time you had playing outside with them, they’ll learn to associate doing physical activity with being in a good mood, and feeling reenergized.
Smart idea: encourage younger kids to keep a daily diary and write about their favourite sports or activities. They can also draw a picture to illustrate how much fun they had!
Share skills. Are you a master tennis player? Then show your child how it’s done so you can share the activity together. Is your daughter great at softball? Then why not let her give you pointers so that you can practice together? The idea is to really share and exchange with your kids so that staying active is something that you can partake in together. It’s a great way to create quality time with your child, too!
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