Tips for Parents
"The best thing to give to your child is a good example."
Francis Maitland Balfour
Nutrition and physical activity are important to a child's well-being. The following are tips and ideas to encourage physical activity with children and youth.
- Start Young – Incorporating physical activity into a child's everyday life at an early age sets the foundation for good habits for years to come.
- Healthy Eating – Eating a healthy balanced diet maximizes the benefits of physical activity. Check out this link for further information on healthy eating.
- Have Fun – Find out what activities your child enjoys. Try a variety of activities to discover which ones they like and which they don't. Support your child in accessing and organizing fun activities alone or with family or friends.
- Be a Role Model – Find activities that you enjoy and show your children how being physically active can be fun. Be active with your kids, they will enjoy the fun quality time.
- Be Safe – Before participating in a physical activity, always review the related safety considerations and practices.
- Keep it Simple – Physical activity doesn't need to cost a lot or require a lot of equipment. Here are some examples:
- Walking and discovering your neighborhood
- Going to the park
- Walking the dog
- Raking the leaves
- Cleaning the house
- Playing hide and seek
- Turn off the TV – Keep a balance between TV, video games, and computer time for your child with active pursuits with friends and/or family. While watching TV, have mini physical activity bursts during the commercial breaks. For example, try to do as many push-ups, jumping jacks, or sit-ups as you can during one commercial.
- Promote Physical Activity – Children don't have to be in sports or take specific classes to be active. There are many non-competitive activities that are available for a child who is not interested in organized athletics. Children can benefit a lot by simply walking and biking more often. Children can also rollerblade, jump rope, skateboard, or play badminton in the backyard.
- Physical Activity Guide – For more information to help you in making physical activity a part of your children's lives, check out:
Family in motion Activities
Here are some ideas families can do to encourage regular physical activity:
- Walk to the store, recreation centre, to meet your friends.
- Set goals together as a family.
- Do things around the house as a family; rake the leaves, shovel the snow, wash the car.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk after supper or during your lunch break.
- Organize neighbourhood and/or family games.
- Play outside.
- Challenge yourself and try an activity you have never tried before.
- Walk the dog and invite someone to join you.
- Go hiking on a trail or at the park.
- Plant and maintain a vegetable or flower garden.
- Join a fitness class with a friend or family member.
- Have commercial exercise breaks. Do a series of exercises while you wait for the commercials such as jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, lunges, etc.
- Get off the bus one stop earlier.
- Park the car in the farthest possible spot.
- Dance to your favourite music for 10 minutes each day.
- Ride your bike, in-line skate, or skateboard.
- Go for a swim or skate.
- Try something new like yoga or Pilates.
- Go bowling for the next family gathering.
- Participate in community, provincial and national events that offer physical activity opportunities. You can support a worthwhile event while enjoying some physical activity.