Active parents have active children

Posted on Jul 26, 2015 in Health Topics

Active parents have active children

How active are you? You may not think that your health has much of an impact on your kids’ health, but it does. The more active you are – the healthier and more physically active your kids are.

Going to the gym just twice a week influences your children to become more physically active than their peers whose parents do not. But Discovery Vitality’s ObeCity Index, which measured the health and wellbeing of people living in some of South Africa’s major cities, found that most adults do not meet the daily minimum recommended amount for physical activity.

While there are many reasons that levels of physical activity are decreasing, many of them are easy to overcome. Here are some great ways to get yourself more physically active, and improve the health of your kids as well:

  • Take a break from screen time. Having more televisions or computers in the home and having a television in the bedroom is linked with higher use. Parents’ rules regarding television and computer use are connected with lower levels of sedentary behaviours in young people. Studies have shown that engaging in more than four hours of screen time daily poses a significant health threat. So instead of watching television, spend time together as a family cooking a healthy meal, playing, practising sport, or engaging in hobbies like music or dancing.
  • Turn inactive time into active time. Instead of sitting while taking phone calls, watching television, or helping the kids with homework, stand. And when you’re standing while brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, or cooking, do some squats, leg lifts, or lunges.
  • Take the time to look after yourself. Make time for yourself and go to the gym, go for a run, a cycle, or do some yoga on the living room floor. All the better if you can bring your children with so they can see you being active – many gyms now have sections where children can enjoy some active play while you work out.
  • Find fun ways to play. Children need quite a lot of physical activity to help them grow and develop healthily. Think of your children’s physical activity needs as an opportunity to get the whole family active. An event like parkrun can offer fun exercise for the whole family while you earn Vitality points. Bike parks, running trails, play grounds, or even dog parks can offer you great ways to exercise and have fun as a family.

Keeping physically active is one important factor that can help to improve your health, and the health of your kids. Make an investment in your health and in their future by staying physically active.

Source: Discovery Health