Surely this day and age we all know the importance of being active. Yet people who are capable often choose not to. It is so important that we teach our children at a young age the importance of being active. It is not up to schools to be the only role models for a healthy lifestyle. It begins in the home.

I know todays lifestyle is super busy and we have less time for ourselves. So being active as a family is a great way to get fit, keep us motivated, get some oxygen pumping through our bodies and minimise health issues. We only need to take half and hour to an hour of our time. Try to remember that without some time out we can burn out.

Sometimes, unless the benefits are written down in front of us, we don’t think about it in too much detail. The benefits of teaching our children to be active are:

  • Develop gross motor and fine skills.
  • Hand-eye co-ordination.
  • Provide a positive role model.
  • Increase fitness by increasing oxygen levels in our blood and to our body systems including our brain, therefore increasing concentration levels for studies.
  • Social development, connect as a family.
  • Boost self-confidence.
  • Boost Vitamin D levels (outdoor activities)
  • Connect with and appreciate nature.
  • Lower body fat and increase muscle.
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Decrease risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Strengthens organs like the heart and lungs.
  • Helps eliminate toxins from our body.
  • Decreases anxiety and depression.
  • Improves quality of sleep.
  • Increases ability to problem solve.
  • Team sports develop sharing skills, provide a sense of community, co-operation, teamwork, sense of belonging, social interaction, respect for authority, officials team mates and different abilities, follow rules, leadership skills and friendships from outside school.

Here are some activities that children may enjoy. If we can make them fun they will be more :

  • Bike, scooter roller blades or skate boards
  • Swimming
  • Ball sports
  • Hula hoop
  • Dancing – get the music on a dance with your kids.
  • Fit ball
  • Hiking, nature walks
  • Trampoline, yes get on the trampoline with your kids and remember being a kid yourself. Remember how much fun you had as a kid? If you didn’t have fun as a kid it is never too late.
  • Skipping rope
  • Yoga
  • Balancing activities – walk along a beam or rope on the ground, stand on 1 leg, hopping, hopscotch, sack races, egg and spoon races.
  • Hacky sack
  • Climbing trees, rocks, walls etc (obviously not high ones)
  • Gardening
  • Walkathons and fun runs, these are also great to teach your children to help others less fortunate.
  • Basketball, netball hoop.
  • Make an obstacle course with household objects like tables, chairs, ropes, balls etc.
  • Totem tennis, backyard/beach volleyball, cricket etc.
  • Boxing using a punching bag and gloves.
  • Local playgrounds or parks.
  • If you have a dog, walk the dog.
  • Walk along the beach and collect shells or rocks, build sandcastles, dig holes.

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