I was told last week that 1 million Americans drifted from an active lifestyle just last year, but half a million children ages 6 to 12 became active in that same time period. As a parent that was great new to hear that the inactivity had dropped, also says I need to not only think of my children but myself as well. Many of us tend to focus so much on our children that we forget about ourselves.
I actually have 3 children that are between five and eight, and I can say they are very active. As a parent I worry with all this new technology that my children wouldn’t be as active as I was when I was growing up. I can remember my mother complaining that she could not keep us inside for very long in rain or shine you would find us sneaking off to play outdoors. My son in particular gave me reason to worry because all he wanted to do was play video games, all day every day. Mention the word outdoors it was like issuing a death sentence. My mother complained she couldn’t keep us in long enough and I complain I can not get them out of the house. With the issue looming and a battle every day I started to look for thing outside the house to do.
Frate’s Creative Arts was an answer. I registered my children for dance, I loved dance and had the very same teacher. I knew this would promote a healthier lifestyle and teach them many valuable lessons such as, discipline, listening skills, following direction skills, as well as grace and balance, and many, many more. My son quite enjoyed dance he did that for two years, that was a starting point for him. My daughters continue to go there and be very active. Dance is one way to be active and most don’t even think of it. There are lessons from the very young right up through to adults! They even offer Zumba which is quite a workout with out even trying hard.
From there my son joined the local Boy Scout troop 366 which is through our local church. This keeps him very active and he is learning about a healthy lifestyle. The wolf trail which he is currently on is covering thing from exercise, to cooking, to healthy habits, to recycling, and becoming more active in his local community.
When asked what I do to keep our family active I started to give a list that goes a little something like this: a weekly walk to the Laconia Public Library as well as to Tardiff Park, Church activities, School and work, house cleaning, boy scouts, dance, and family projects such as a family garden. My problem it seems is learning how to take it easy.
As the weather warms and summer comes closer the more active I become with hiking trips, camp trips, more walks, and of course summer camp! Talk about being active Summer Camp is one of the best ways. I send my children for just half a week to Camp Wanakee and they come home I believe with more energy and willingness to stay active. They learn so much in the few days they are there.
For more ideas on way to keep your children active look to your community. Our schools are building new programs to promote healthy living from free nutritious snacks to Physical education, and jump rope for heart and issuing challenges to the student body to become more active. Our Churches are some great places to get active you just have to look; as well as the local Boy and Girls club, and the Parks and Recreations of your town.