Physical activity starts at home!

by | 12th September 2019

After a long summer, spent away from work and predominantly with my children it has occurred to me that I need a rest. Not a rest from them (although that would be welcome) but a physical rest. For 8 weeks I have taken part in almost every physical activity I can think of – the expensive ones like karting, water parks & theme parks but also cricket on the beach, body boarding in the sea, hiking, biking, tree climbing, running races, throwing competitions, corn hole (look it up – you’ll never find a better family game!), playing hide and seek, getting lost in mazes, golf and many, many more active days. And when I’m not actually joining in I am the tournament organiser/scorer/umpire. I love it but I’m not sure there is a lot of this going on for every child.  

Now, I’m the first to recognise that children need rest, and so do adults but it really is imperative that we encourage activity and this should be in a verbal manner but also in our actions. If our children see us being active – walking , biking, climbing, running or even ‘playing’ then there is more likelihood that they will see it as ‘normal’. More chance they will be active daily. More chance of physical activity having a positive impact now, but also in the future on their lives.  

When my sons were younger I once received a phone call from my elderly neighbour who had just called to tell me that my boys “were climbing very high in the tree, dropping onto the shed and jumping off”. She thought it was dangerous and that I should know what they were up to. I thanked her kindly for her concern. I refrained from telling her that I was stood in the back door way advising them of the correct foot holds and the way to land safely and roll away!!!! 

The same thing often still happens to me when my children are shimmying around the top of the climbing frame in the local park , having scaled above the usual heights of the other children. Mothers warn their own children “not to join in”, or loudly comment that “those boys are being a bit dangerous”.

In a day and age where children’s movement and activity are being more and more restricted, maybe letting children work out their own boundaries and their own risk level, while moving and having fun would be a good idea.

So I say let your children be the tree climber, the shed leaper, the climbing frame King or Queen. Be active, be brave and if you’re a Mum, Dad or guardian then join in!

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