Advice for Parents

Get your children active!

Along with healthy eating for children, physical activity is one of the most important influencers on your child's health, and makes a vital contribution to the prevention of illness and disease in later life.

It is though, all about making sure children are doing some form of fun physical activity to improve their health by raising their heart and breathing rate. Parents are in an ideal position to pass on healthier, positive lifestyle choices and healthier eating habits to their kids. By getting your child more active you will be helping your child to become fitter, more confident and improve their well-being.

Benefits of Increasing Physical Activity in Children & Young People

When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits:

  • Strong muscles and bones
  • Weight control
  • Decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Better sleep
  • A better outlook on life

Healthy, physically active kids also are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful, and physical competence builds self-esteem at every age.

Did you know?

  • Children on average spend nearly 3 hours a day watching TV
  • Only half of children and teens, ages 12 to 21, regularly exercise
  • More than 15% of all school children are considered obese or overweight
  • Overweight teens have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults
  • Eighty-five percent of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese
  • Sleep apnea occurs in approximately 7% of children who are obese

What Motivates Kids?

The three keys are:

  • Choosing the right activities for a child's age: If you don't, the child may be bored or frustrated.
  • Giving kids plenty of opportunity to be active: Kids need parents to make activity easy by providing equipment and taking them to playgrounds and other active spots.
  • Keeping the focus on fun: Kids won't do something they don't enjoy. When kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it. Practicing a skill — whether it's swimming or riding a tricycle — improves their abilities and helps them feel accomplished, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. These good feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others.

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