The 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card of Physical Activity for Children and Youth takes a landmark position on fitness for kids and active, outdoor play revealing that kids are not playing enough outside, and when they do play outside, they tend to be over-supervised by over-protective parents.
According to the Report Card, “With less than 10 percent of children and youth getting the 60 minutes of heart-pumping activity they need each day, we need to let kids go outside and simply be kids. Kids are more physically active when they play outside and have some freedom to wander unsupervised, independently test their abilities and take some risks. And figuring out how to solve conflicts with their friends, without parents and teachers constantly intervening, should be a requirement.”
It’s difficult for parents to allow their children to try activities that may require a little more risk, such as a new sport, jumping off the high dive at the pool or even sliding down the “big slide” at the playground. Because we love our children so much, we don’t want to see them get hurt. But, we have to remember that kids need to challenge themselves so they can learn life lessons and experience new activities. Children need to learn to determine how to gauge risk for themselves in order to become functioning adults.
In the current world of rising childhood obesity and dwindling outdoor play, it’s important to encourage lifelong healthy, active lifestyles including weight management while reiterating that fitness for kids – and adults – can be fun!
- Explain to your kids the importance of outdoor and active play and establish active play as the norm from an early age.
- If you are concerned about safety, register your child in professional, after-school programs that combine fitness for kids with fun. Encourage them to participate in intramural sports or enroll them in group fitness classes to make new friends while learning new talents such as athletic training or sports skills. Arrange active, after-school playdates with their friends.
- Make fitness fun for the whole family. Create a family night where your kids can choose the outdoor activity. Examples could be a ropes course, a hike in the woods or even playing tag in the backyard. The activity doesn’t have to expensive. It just needs to active and fun.
- Allow your kids to try new activities and explore ways to creatively play with their friends. Remind your children that you are always there if they need to ask for help, but encourage independent thinking. This will show your children that you value their judgement and respect their decisions while helping you ease out of becoming over-protective.
Do you want your kids to get off the couch? Concerned about their weight management? Searching for a physical activity where your children will have fun and want to keep coming back? Fitness for Health’s kids’ classes are just the ticket. Your kids will have a blast while breaking a sweat with our heart-pumping exergaming program. Using our state-of-the-art equipment, kids will get fit, feel good and get healthy.
Join the fight against childhood obesity and learn more about our fitness for kids’ classes today!