Being Active is a Family Affair


There are so many reasons why kids need to be active and exercise.

There is the obvious: Activity and exercise helps kids maintain a healthy weight, builds strong and healthy bodies, and promotes overall wellness.

But, did you also know that…

  • Being active and exercising improves the quality and amount of sleep kids get?
  • Kids who are active also have improved school attendance and do better in school.
  • Kids who exercise are less likely to struggle with depression and anxiety.
  • Kids who exercise have a stronger positive self-esteem, and have a more positive self-image.
  • Being active improves coordination and motor skills and develops interpersonal life skills.
Yep, being active is really important. Exercise is really important.
So…how can we help our kids to be more active? The answer is fairly straight forward. As parents, we need to be active.
Research shows that…
  • Parents who are active, have kids who are more likely to be active. What does this mean? It means that our kids will learn to do what we teach them. If we spend most of our time as a family, and as individuals being active, our kids will most likely do the same. This also applies to specific activities. Activities and hobbies that we like, our kids are also likely to enjoy.  Think about it, are there any activities you participate in because your parents did? In our home, our kids love to ski and play golf. Why? Because we introduced them to those activities because we like them, and we do them.
  • Parents who are less active, have kids who are more likely to be less active. Yep, if as we raise our children, TV and sedentary activities are our primary form of activities together, then we will raise kids who are most likely to be sedentary with their families also. This is true for specific activities, activities that challenge gender issues, and risky activities also. My parents felt that riding motorcycles and jumping out of planes were risky activities. They didn’t say they were bad, but they didn’t encourage us to participate. As a result, I am not active in those activities. My feelings about most activities, come directly from my parents. Yours probably do also.
You can easily see how our actions can affect and influence generations.
There is more…
  • It is our job as parents to provide opportunities for our children to be active. Involve them in team sports and in individual activities. Encourage them to be outside, and go out with them. Let them play and play with them. We are the primary socializing agent for our kids.
  • Providing opportunities to be active will also provide opportunities for our kids to learn life skills. Everything from problem solving, learning to cooperate, adaptation skills, learning to be a good winner/looser, social bonding skills, and communication (just to name a few) takes place when we are being active and involved with the world around us. We want our children to have these opportunities. What better way to teach them these skills, then by being active together.
Our children will, for the most part, do what we do. It sends a very confusing message to our kids if we “tell” them to be active, but our personal actions “show” them otherwise. If we are active, that is how we will raise our children and that is what they will see, know, love and want to do the rest of their lives. It is a lifestyle and we need to live it as a family.

 

Comments

  1. 1

    Thank you for this post. Sometimes I get so caught up with every day life that I forget what is really important. I’d love for some suggestions on ways to keep active. We love to take daily walks, play at the beach, ride bikes, and play outside however I’d love some suggestions on how to try new things too. I look forwards to learning more!

  2. 2
    Alex Liz Robinson says:

    We like to walk everyday when my husband gets off work. Its warming up outside so we will be able to get back out there soon! Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    I agree one hundred percent ! We try to make moving a lifestyle- it’s less about striving for a level of fitness ( or a look) than being out, enjoying the outdoors,and being grateful that we have bodies that can do all of these amazing things. as the number of children in the family has outpaced the adults, we have had to get more and more creative. Certain hikes are just a no-go when it might mean that we each have to pack two kids back out of the woods !
    Living rurally makes it great for the kids to be able to run around outside during the day, but I find it is harder to work cardio in as a part of my day. Sure, i can get outside and use my muscles, lifting and slinging feed and fertilizer, but it is a lot harder to get some running in. When we lived in teh city, we would run or bike to do all of our errands. It was a handy way to kill two birds with one stone, now out here in the country, i have to take time from the other things that need to be done in order to get that walking…..but it is worth it :)

  4. 4

    This is SO very true! We, as parents, create our children’s eating habits and exercise routines as well.

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