On my current hitlist I have listed an Active Kids challenge as something I wanted to complete. Basically, I wanted to have a good hard look at how much time my kids actually spent outdoors and active, and then focus on specifically planning a week of activities that will ensure that my kids are outside and active for at least an hour every day. I decided to do this in the school holidays initially as it would keep them (and me) out of trouble and there wouldn’t be the obvious time constraints that come with the school term. In saying that I also want to try this during the school term to see what changes I could incorporate into our daily lives.
There are many reasons that kids, and adults, should be staying active for at least an hour every day and these are just some of them:
- It helps kids think better (also check out this link too on the benefits of daily activity and improved brain function)
- It is good for emotional health
- It is good for motor development and weight control
- A family that exercises together, stays together…don’t have any research on that one, but it is what I believe!
- It is fun
- The great outdoors are just beautiful. The opportunities for exploring our surrounding areas are all in our grasp if we just make the effort to look.
- For the most part it is free
I am sure these reasons come as no surprise to anyone so why aren’t we all doing it? Are our excuses legitimate or have we fallen into a bit of a rut and not thought outside the box about how we could fit it in? Are our priorities in order? I like to think that my kids are fairly active but when I took a good look at how much ‘moderate’ exercise they do I think we would only meet the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines for physical activity on 4-5 days out of a possible 7 days. Hence my wish to pick up my game, make a plan for the holidays, and see if I could do 7 days of outdoor activity for more than an hour each day…..
ONE – Mountain biking – Check out your local mountain biking club for information on your closest trails.
TWO – Head to a new park. Have you explored all your local parks?
THREE – Head to the beach. Australia is an island people, so for most of us our closest beach isn’t that far away.
FOUR – Good old fashioned fun at a creek.
FIVE – Find a local bike path – Where does it take you?
SIX – Spend a day at home – gardening, playing, jumping, riding.
SEVEN – Go camping! Great way to recharge the batteries and have some quality family time.
So there you have it, seven great ways to get outside and have some fun with the kids. What are your favourite ways to get outdoors and stay active?