Photo: drdavidgeier.com

“Kids who exercise regularly can gain major control over attitude, energy level, bone strength and health.” ~ Jeff Galloway

Are your children regularly active?  Gaming or texting thumb workouts do not count.

If so, bravo to you!  By in large, gone are the days when parents could send kids outside to play all day until the street lights come on.  In most instances, activities have to be arranged and supervised, and I know the scheduling, shuttling and supplies required can get to be much.  Stay encouraged! You are planting abilities and disciplines that will benefit your children for a lifetime.

photo: kidssportgames01.blogspot.com
My husband was an athletic child, very active in sports. I on the other hand was a sedentary, ‘pretty-plus’ sized asthmatic bookwormish child, so this world of teams, practices and games is new to me. I realize how many lessons I missed about teamwork, drive, competition, goal setting, mental toughness, physical discipline etc. Sports helped my husband develop these skills/abilities early in life. I’m ropa-doping AARP eligibility and still playing catch up. LOL

If your kids are sedentary  – please get and keep them moving.  Check out the youth activities available in your area via the school system, local parks and recreation system, youth sports leagues, Boys and Girls Club etc.  I’m particularly impressed by the work with children done via the YMCA, Girls on the Run and local Church Youth Ministries.  Great ideas and resources are also available at our First Lady’s Let’s Moveinitiative to raise a healthier generation of kids.  See what is a fit for your schedule and budget as well as your child’s interests and ability.  Then get to it. 

Also remember to move and play with your children. Go for family walks or bike rides.  Skate or roller blade with your kids. Pull out the double dutch rope, teach them how to turn without being double handed, then show them your skills. Go outside and shoot hoops, kick a soccer ball around, strike up a match of horseshoes, hopscotch or some other movement related game. Who remembers Red Light Green Light?  Active play shows that activity can be care-free and fun, balancing out the intensity that is often a part of competitive sports. Additionally, in their minds, it can move exercise from a “have to” to a “want to”.  This is an important perspective as research shows those who worked out for enjoyment and health benefits lasted 25 percent longer in sessions than those who felt obligated. 

Fun activity shared as a family is also a great time for bonding and the creation of heartfelt and sometime humorous family memories.  

Most importantly, we need to tell and teach our children that their bodies are God’s special creation. Help them to appreciate and respect their bodies as temples and realize that activity is an aspect of good stewardship. (Psalm 139:41 Cor 6:19-20).   Understanding and applying this truth can bless and protect their lives.

BTW: On Saturday, April 27, the Y is celebrating YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® with free community events across the country to inspire families to move, learn and live healthier. Click here to find an event in your community and get information how you can take part in this day filled with fun, active play and educational opportunities.   (I luv the Y!) 

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