With the pervasiveness of smartphones and video games, physical inactivity in children is a concern year-round even more so in winter when its much less of a hassle to sit curled up on a warm sofa than to trek out into frigid temperatures.
Physical inactivity, however, isnt something to ignore. Sports participation for Canadian teenagers declined from 77% in 1992 to 59% in 2005 and 46% of kids get three hours or less of active play a week. This can have major repercussions to the health of your kids in the form of increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and more.
So what can you do to encourage your children to become more active in any weather?
- Get outdoors: If its still chilly, get out there and organize hockey games at your local park rink for the kids in your neighbourhood. If theres still snow in your area, go skiing, snowboarding or sledding. Once spring arrives, start up street hockey, basketball or junior jogging groups.
- Go indoors: Take your kids swimming to your nearby indoor pool or ask your local high school about reserving the gym for weekly or bi-weekly basketball or dodge ball games.
- Mall exercise: Who says shopping centres are just for shopping? Choose a time of day when its not busy and go for a light jog through the mall, including up and down the stairs, instead of the escalators.
- Two-wheel it: Encourage them to start bicycling to school. Make sure theyre well versed in road safety and that they always wear a helmet.
- After-school classes: Schedule later dinners and use after-school time to enroll your kids in gymnastics, martial arts, dancing or whatever activity you think theyre suited for.
- Improvise: Still too cold out? Not enough time with homework assignments? Schedule 30 minutes a day at home to skip rope, do sit-ups or push-ups, or a stationary bike. If theyre resistant, give them an incentive like an increase in their allowance or movie night.
How have you convinced your children to turn off their phones and turn on to activity? Share your ideas in the Shop Talk Blog community forum now!