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Home   News   How much physical activity have your kids had today… and yesterday… and the day before that?

How much physical activity have your kids had today… and yesterday… and the day before that?

Nov 27, 2015
written by: Catherine Cameron
written by: Catherine Cameron
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The holiday season is fast approaching, which means, as my kids count down the days, that they’ll be on break from school for a couple of weeks. For busy and working parents with younger kids, this means a mad scramble to make childcare plans, and for others, it means coming up with ideas and activities to keep the kids entertained and active.

Many parents assume that their kids get plenty of physical activity – mostly at school. The truth is however, that only 7% of Canadian kids and teens are active enough to meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and their recommendations of an hour a day of heart-pumping activity. So ask yourself: how much running, skipping, jumping, and sport participation your kids have had today… and yesterday… and the day before that?

There’s no point in dwelling on what didn’t happen, but there is plenty of reason to think about the future and to make sure your kids are getting the exercise they need for optimal health and happiness. Without it, they are at risk for many chronic and serious diseases and even premature death. Many leading experts point to the fact that many of today’s children will have shorter lives than their parents, in large part due to disease fueled by obesity and inactivity.

As our thoughts turn to the upcoming holiday season and to some extent, the gifts we’ll purchase to give to others, I have a few suggestions for our Tennis Canada readers:

  1. Remember that our time is one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids and others. Pledge to put down your device this holiday season and in 2016 in order to enjoy more active fun with your kids.
  2. Make time to be active as a family this holiday season, and if you can’t be, don’t hold your kids back. Consider registering them for tennis and other sports camps, encourage them to play outdoors with friends, and if you’re lucky enough to have a blanket of snow in your community, take full advantage of it and enjoy winter activities like tobogganing, ice skating and fort building.
  3. Give gifts that promote physical activity and active fun as a family. New sleds, ice skates, hockey sticks, tennis balls and racquets, tennis lessons, memberships or passes for indoor tennis play, passes to an indoor climbing centre, etc.

Active kids are happier, healthier, have higher self-esteem, are less anxious, and even perform better academically. They’re also much more likely to grow into active, healthy adults.