13 Jun 2014

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner! With that being said, the spring and summer months are a great time to be active as a family! School will soon be out and summer vacation will kick into high gear, don’t just use this time to take your children to amusement parks, grandma’s house, or to see the Great Wall of China, use this time to be active with your children. Spring and summer are the perfect times for this, why?  School is out, the weather is great, and the days are longer- allowing more time for physical activity. Besides, being active with your children is a great way to spend time and bond with them, which is the ultimate reward.
By engaging in psychical activity with your children, you are not only bonding with them, but setting an example and communicating, non-verbally, that being and staying active is highly important and can be lots of fun. According to this Reuter’s Heath article, Parent involvement can help kids get more active, Kerry Vander Ploeg, with the School or Public Health in Alberta Canada, conducted a study to see if children were more active if their parents encouraged physical activity. After conducting the study she stated, “Parents play an important role in shaping the behaviors of their children, and therefore their belief in and support of physical activity may help to increase physical activity levels among children.” She goes on to state that the study showed, “kids were more active when their parents were active with them.”
The spring and summer months are a great time for your children to be active and form healthy lifestyle habits, however, these months can negatively affect your child as well; be careful, as spring and summer can be a gateway to forming bad physical habits as well.  No school means more time for inactivity-watching T.V for the greater part of the day or playing video games. It is also a time where poor eating habits can arise, junk food is consumed more in the summer, cook-outs/BBQ’s that offer not so healthy food choices will be frequented by millions of Americas this summer.
In addition, every child’s summer favorite, ice-cream, will have them running for the ice-cream truck, as I remember doing in my adolescents during the spring and summer months. I am in no way saying that we should totally strip our children of these childhood pleasures, as these are the times that children will cherish when they grow-up. What I am saying is that as parents and adults we should be monitoring what are children are consuming and making sure that they are taking advantage of the spring and summer seasons in a healthy and positive way-by using this time to form and build healthy lifestyle habits.
Bike Riding: Find a trail and go bike riding together. If you don’t have access to a trail, go bike riding around the neighborhood. Going bike riding is not only a good form of exercise, but it is also a great way to encourage safety, as you can promote the benefits of wearing a helmet and obeying and paying close attention to traffic signs.
Taking walks: Some summer days might be too hot for physical activity during the day, but when the sun goes down this is the perfect time to take walks as a family. This will probably be after dinner, which is a great time to walk, helping your food digest. An after dinner walk will also help burn off some of those dinner calories, insuring that you are not falling asleep right after you have eaten.
Pick a Sport: You can start by picking a sport and explaining it to your child so they understand it well enough to play. This activity works well for children in large families as you can split up into teams, and have them play that way, which is a lot of fun. Or if you don’t have a large family you can always play sports one-on-one, which is just as fun. Some family sports to try are basketball, soccer, racing/relays, or kickball.
Water Balloon/water gun battles: The beauty of warm weather is that you can participate in activities that you usually cannot do during the winter; this is also a great way to cool your children off on hot days. Split up into teams, you might even want to get the neighborhood kids involved, which will make it all the more fun. Make sure there is enough space for the kids to run-around, hide and dodge the balloons and or water-guns.
You can read the entire Reuter’s Health article, Parent involvement can help kids get more active, here at http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUKBREA090OA20140110
Schedule a session for your child with one of our CASS Fitness trainers today! And as always, stay active and remember, an active child is a happy child!

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