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Kid Companions- Chewelry: Jan 14, 2011

January 14, 2011

The Role Parents Play in Getting and Keeping Their Kids Fit

Today, children in Canada and the United States are less healthy than children a generation ago. The data from the Canadian, 2010 National Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is extremely alarming, “ Kelly Murumets, president and CEO of ParticipAction, said. “Truly, if we don’t start addressing children and youths’ physical activity levels, we’re basically mortgaging their future and bankrupting Canada’s health care costs, which are no longer sustainable.”

Why Is Inactivity a BIG Deal

*Two-thirds of Canadian children are not sufficiently physically active for optimal growth and development.

* 25% of Canadian children are considered overweight.

*Obesity rates have tripled in the past 30 years and obesity threatens the healthy future of one third of all American children.

Who Is Responsible For Getting and Keeping Kids Fit

The National Association for Sports and Physical Education explains the new, US initiative: “The goal of Let's Move in School is to ensure that every school provides a comprehensive school physical activity program with quality physical education as the foundation so that youth will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.”

 There are many key players responsible to get and keep our kids physically fit. The ball has to pass from our policymakers, to the schools and to the parents.

What Should Parents Do

*Know your child’s interest and do not push a sport or activity because you liked it.

*Choose physical activities to match your child’s abilities and ensure success.

*Keep your expectations reasonable. If your bar is too high your child is doomed to failure and frustration from the start.

*Be supportive and respect your child’s emotional and physical maturity. Each child is unique and should not be compared to others and siblings.

*Set limits on sedentary activities including watching television, computer use, phone and texting and playing electronic games.

*Have equipment on hand like balls, skipping ropes, basketball hoop, bikes, sleds, swings, slides, bean bags, electronic interactive active games…

*Encourage free play and playing outdoors if possible.

*Organize active family outings, weekends and vacations.

*Strive for being fit, having fun and laying the foundation for an active adult lifestyle.

All individuals benefit from regular physical activity and special needs children especially could all gain from these physical, mental and social benefits. Read related post below.

There are so many things in life we cannot offer our children because of time constraints, other responsibilities, the unavailability or inaccessibility in our area, the expense, our lack of skills or the disinterests of our children but parents can all be role models for an active lifestyle and dependable allies in their children’s physical fitness.

How is your family getting and keeping fit? What are your challenges? 

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