10 Benefits of Raising Active Kids

| June 24, 2014 | 6 Comments

activekids-impSomewhere in our multi-tasking busy lives we have taught our kids to sit still, to entertain themselves with electronics and busy themselves indoors instead of looking for opportunities to get outside and play.  Statistics are showing that our kids are not getting enough physical activity.

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that Canadian kids between 5 and 17 years of age get at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity each day, but only 5% of 5- to 17-year olds are meeting these recommendations.1

This is surprising to me as I thought kids are naturally active. I remember when my toddlers first learned to walk, they didn’t stop and got into everything.  They were always on the move.

There are so many benefits to raising active kids, and although the time commitment to drive them to activities or, (some say the even better option), under scheduling them so they have time to play outside after school, can change the family plan, the long term health benefits for our kids makes this a good idea.

A recent study revealed that 46% of Canadian kids get three hours or less of active play per week, including weekends.2  This is not enough.

Some of the benefits of raising active kids  includes having healthier, happier kids. Fresh air, jumping, running, swinging, riding, sweaty shirts and being out of breath can all lead to happier kids! A 2010 report in Science Daily found a medical study presented at a conference for American Heart Association that even links physical fitness to better school performance.3

10 Benefits of Raising Active Kids
Healthy body weight
Healthy heart
More laughing and smiling
Improved self-confidence
Longer attention span
Better grades
Improved fitness level
Stronger bones and muscles
Balance, flexibility
Learning new skills

basketball-impStudies suggest that inactive kids are more likely to grow up to be inactive adults and that is when the real health problems can begin.  Lifestyle habits are formed early in life and getting accustomed to be active, can carry forward into adulthood.  We need to start now and teach our children active lifestyle habits that will stay with them give them the best chance of becoming healthy active adults.

Simple ideas such as an after dinner walk, a weekend hike, learning to run together, a bike ride to the ice cream shop or putting that basketball net to good use for the a little street action are easy ways to add activity to your families day.

I challenge you to get active with your children and tell me you don’t see happy smiling kids!

1*Source: 2009-2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS; www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/100113/dq100113a-eng.htm)
2*Source: Active Healthy Kids Canada. (2012) Is active play extinct?: The Active Healthy Kids Canada report card on physical activity for children and youth 2012, Toronto, ON
3* Source: Science Daily http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302185522.htm

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Category: Health, Wellness

About the Author ()

Deb Lowther is a writer, runner, mom of 3 and wife of a very driven entrepreneurial husband in the health and nutrition field. When not running after the kids, Deb is running in the trails, climbing mountains, training for a triathlon, doing hot yoga and enjoying her evening glass of wine. She ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active together. After selling their first company in 2015, the Lowthers' launched Element Nutrition with Stuart focusing on creating nutritional products for the baby boomer generation with Boomer Nutrition and kids with IronKids Nutrition. Deb inspires healthy families through numerous articles in print and online, encouraging others to enjoy a healthy diet, staying active and not being afraid to flex a little muscle.

Comments (6)

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  1. KD says:

    We minimize electronics with my daughter and don’t own a t.v., but I find it a struggle to get outside more. We don’t have a backyard as we live in an apartment and I don’t take her to the park as often as I should. (She’s 2 so can’t go there on her own!) She is constantly on the move at home, and she runs to the laundry room and back with me as we do our many loads (regular plus diaper laundry).

  2. Brenda A says:

    It is a sad reality for far too many families where inactivity is the norm and electronics are all too common. Parents need to lead by example. I find it deeply disturbing when I sit watching my kids at swimming lessons or while waiting to walk the kids home from school: most other parents are zombies attached to their smart phone.

    Not for me. Not for my family.

  3. Victoria Ess says:

    I can’t believe that statistic that just less than half of Canadian kids get three hours or less of active play. What about recess and gym?

  4. kathy downey says:

    Canadian kids get three hours or less of active play,im not shocked by this,i see parents everyday that cant even pick up grocories without that phone in hand,everywhere you go,people dont talk anymore just playing on the phone what kind of example is that for our kids

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