June 6, 2016
Grab the Kids, Go Outside, and Get Active!
Did You Know?
Less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. LESS THAN THREE!
Additionally, according to the 2014 State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 26.7 percent of adults and 18.7 percent of youth in Georgia reported no leisure-time physical activity. In relation to Georgia’s large population, that’s a significant amount of inactivity!
Why Physical Activity is So Important
- Young children: Physical fitness and exercise can improve muscular fitness, bone, and heart health early on.
- Adolescents and young adults: Physical activity can lower the risk of acquiring type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. According to the Center of Disease Control, studies have shown that being physically active can lower the risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer, while other developing research may also reveal the lowered risks of developing lung and endometrial cancer too.
- Older adults: Physical activity can lower the risks of falls, hip fractures, and can help improve cognitive functioning.
- Mental health benefits: Studies have shown that exercise can reduce anxiety, depression, and negative moods. Regular physical activity helps with stress relief, improved sleep patterns, increased mental alertness, and can benefit school age children by improving academic achievement.
3 Practical Ways to Improve Your Family’s Physical Fitness
- Provide your children with positive feedback and good role modeling. Children tend to follow the lead of the caregivers in their life. If an active lifestyle is important for Mom and Dad, then that’s what will be important to them too. Praise, rewards, and encouragement can help motivate them as well.
- Promote activities for your children that will set a basis for a lifetime of activity. Encourage them to participate in both individual and team sports, get them involved in local recreation activities, or sign them up for a summer camp. At home, you could set aside time for family walks or even weekly family sporting event in the front yard!
- Prioritize time for your children to engage in unstructured activity. While being a part of a structured team sport or activity is important for developing an active lifestyle, unstructured play is encouraged as well. Activities that give children the opportunity to engage socially in imaginative play, such as playing at a park or in the neighborhood cul-de-sac, can positively impact both physical and mental wellness.