Kids need more than a gym class to inspire movement
The childhood obesity crisis has prompted government campaigns to increase physical activity in schools. Many schools have responded by providing children with more opportunities to play actively, but researchers warn those structured activities do little to increase overall exercise levels.
In fact, children who engaged in structured activities increased exercise volume a measly
4 minutes each day.
While this finding may be disappointing, it's not surprising. Being active is a way of life, not a 30-minute activity we press on our children. If we want our children to lead active lives, we must model active lifestyles for them.
Of course, this requires that we are active as well. Don't worry. You can do it, you will enjoy it, and it will be good for you.
But how do you start? Each weekend, plan at least one family activity that gets everyone moving. Go hiking, canoeing, snow hiking, ice skating, sledding, walking, biking, skiing, rock climbing, or swimming. Play tennis or golf. Play on an outside or inside playground. Explore different activities until you find one everyone likes.
This may feel overly contrived or difficult at first. Stick with it. Your kids will love this time together, and soon they'll be begging for more.