Tips for raising fit kids

Fitness expert Sarah Cowley shows you how to get the whole family exercising.

Kids need clear, positive messages about exercise to develop active habits for life. The earlier they learn about enjoying physical activity the better, not just for their own health and well-being but for the entire community. I firmly believe families have a responsibility to display positive role-modeling through physical activity, and there are easy ways to go about it.

There are loads of options to exercise as a family, from a weekly Sunday bike ride together, to exploring your area by going on a short hike. Another idea is to go to the park together and create an obstacle course race. It's highly entertaining for the kids watching adults on their turf! Try making a martial-arts class together, have a game of dodgeball or spotlight, or even try a family-lounge workout.

You're only limited by your imagination and your ability to use Google to check out what's on in your neighbourhood. Besides the health benefits that exercise brings, being active as a family teachers valuable life skills. For example, giving your children responsibility for the walking or riding route for the week teachers leadership and planning.

In addition, being physically active helps grow confidence. Through encouragement, kids develop self-esteem, and exercise allows them to physically express themselves without limits. Physical activity can even help kids to be safer and more resilient. For instance, children (and adults) are better equipped to dodge an unexpected motorist or jump an obstacle if they are fit and active.

By joining in with your kids, regardless of your fitness level, you're showing them that exercise is important for everyone. It's not about reliving your glory days, it's about enabling the opportunity to be active.

We need strong bodies, crafted through exercise, in order to be able to live a full life.

It's about having some fun together being active. Show them while they're young and the benefits reach well beyond fitness can last a lifetime.

Fitness Expert - Sarah Cowley
Source - Healthy Food Guide