Encouraging your kids to be more active

Did you know that only about 1 in 4 children get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day?

Participation in all types of physical activity drops dramatically as a child’s age and grade in school increase. It’s important that physical activity be a regular part of family life. Here is some information to help you keep your children healthy and active.

Emphasise fun

Help your child find a sport that she enjoys. The more she enjoys the activity, the more likely she will be to continue it. Get the entire family involved. It is a great way to spend time together.

Choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate

For example, a 7 or 8 year-old child is not ready for weight lifting or a 3-mile run, but football, bicycle riding, and swimming are all great activities for kids this age.

Provide a safe environment

Make sure your child’s equipment and where they practice or play is safe. Make sure your child’s clothing is comfortable and appropriate for the activity.

Provide active toys

Young children especially need easy access to balls, jump ropes, and other active toys.

Be a role model

Children who regularly see their parents enjoying sports and physical activity are more likely to do so themselves.

Play with your children more often

Help them learn a new sport or another physical activity. Or just have fun together by going for a walk, hike, or bike ride.

Set limits

Limit screen time, including time spent on TV, videos, computers, and video games​, each day. Use the free time for more physical activities.

Make time for exercise

Some children are so over-scheduled with homework, music lessons, and other planned activities that they do not have time for exercise. So you help make the time for exercise (and fun).

Do not overdo activity

Exercise and physical activity should not hurt. If it becomes painful, your child should slow down or try a less vigorous activity. As with any activity, it is important not to overdo it. If exercise starts to interfere with school or other activities, talk with your child’s doctor.​

Get the entire family moving!

Studies have found that lifestyles learned in childhood are much likelier to stay with a person into adulthood. If sports and physical activities are a family priority, they will provide children and parents with a strong foundation for a lifetime of health.