Close your eyes and think of your happiest memory of Primary school….then ask yourself; were you doing something active or sat still? Were you inside or outside? Were you amongst friends or on your own?
Sadly Primary school children today are not meeting their recommended hour a day of physical activity like running around a playground, paying hop scotch, tag or walking to school with friends. In fact, with one in three Year 6 children overweight or obese, many are subject to bullying and low self-esteem. (Public Health England 2015)
Childhood obesity isn’t just a worry for when children are young; it is thought that 80% of obese children stay obese throughout adulthood with overweight and obesity amongst UK adults predicted to reach a record 70% by 2034. Children today could potentially lose up to 20 healthy years over the course of their lifetime from avoidable chronic health conditions such as asthma, joint problems, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and poor mental health.
Follow our healthy tips on how to look after your child’s heart now and in the future.
Be an active role model
Find time each week to have some active fun as a family for example, cycling, walking, throwing a frisbee, or having a kick about. If they moan about being pulled away from the computer or ipad, start a family blog and encourage them to take pictures and share what they’ve done. If at first they won’t join in then do it anyway without them and they’ll soon feel like they’re missing out.
Challenge your kids
Kids love a challenge and a great way to motivate your child is to set them a task. It could be to reach a summit or cover a certain distance in a limited time or if they’re younger you might encourage them to collect different coloured leaves and wild flowers for a collage. For best results, set it realistically within their limits and remember to keep it fun and active.
Encourage your child to ‘have a go’
The last thing any parent needs is a bored child. To keep their spirits high and body active, encourage new and exciting ways to exercise, including trampolining, circus skills, parkour and street dancing. This will help to develop their social skills and increase the likelihood of them leading an active lifestyle beyond the school curriculum.
Help to practise basic skills
Throwing, catching, kicking, running and jumping are essential skills which help to form the basis for future participation in physical activity and sport. Why not get them to set up a street circuit course and get the neighbours involved for some competitive edge? Don’t forget to reward for taking part as well as winning as it’s important to be recognise their accomplishment, however small.