Friday 14 November 2014

Keeping fit and active with the kids.

Every day there seems to be another scary news item about the health of our children. Something that figures frequently is the prospect of childhood obesity and the fact that an obese child will tend to become an obese adult.

So, of course, as responsible parents, part of our role is to ensure that our kids have a positive attitude to keeping fit and taking part in regular exercise. This isn’t as easy as it used to be, kids of yesteryear used to go out and play because there weren’t any alternatives. Today, because of the existence of so many electronic games and devices it means many kids play sitting on their backsides as often as they possibly can! While tablets and other gaming devices have their place in a child’s day, it’s down to us to restrict use and to get them to do something more physically active.

It’s not a great example just to send them out into the garden though. Far better if you can play games with them – and you’ll benefit from the fresh air and exercise too. Winter’s not the easiest time to do this, but you can always find alternatives – like taking them swimming or getting them to join a local kids’ football team where they can play on all-weather pitches.

Admittedly it’s much easier to get into sport as a family during the spring and summer. And being active can be sociable too. For example, get a crowd of families together at the local park and organise a game of cricket.

This winter you could get the kids into the idea of playing cricket by watching some of the 2015 ICC World CricketCup, which is taking place in February and March in Australia and New Zealand. Currently joint host nation Australia is the favourite to win, priced at around 3/1 on betting sites such as Betfair, while the England team is in sixth favourite position at odds of around 9/1. If you can get the kids to understand the principles of the game watching on TV, it’ll be far more fun when you actually get them to give it a go.

Of course, there are other sports you can try as a family – such as tennis and badminton. And you don’t have to play a specific sport in order to improve fitness levels. Walking to school or to the local shops instead of going in the car, or getting the bus into town and getting off a couple of stops early is a great way to build up fitness in stages, and the walking distance that both you and the kids will be able to do comfortably will quickly increase.

If you can introduce some form of daily physical exercise into the usual routine, you’ll already be taking vital steps away from obesity and other health-related problems for your entire family.

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