Raising Active Kids

In this week’s column I talk about helping my kids stay active. In many ways it’s easy now when they’re young. It doesn’t take much to convince a three-year-old or a six-year-old to run, jump and wrestle.

But I know that might not always be the case.   There’s plenty of data out there showing how kids get less active as they get older. The Whirlwind is a super-busy kid, but at the same time I know he’d sit in front of a computer for hours if we let him. It takes a deliberate effort to make sure our kids stay active.

It also takes modelling. That means being active ourselves, and being active with our kids. After a long day at work, sometimes the last thing I want to do is say yes when my kids ask me to go out with them while they ride bikes, or bounce with them on the trampoline.   Sometimes it takes a Herculean effort to get everybody dressed for a walk in the woods, and when one or all of the kids spends the first five minutes complaining it’s tempting to give up and turn around.

But all those little moments contribute to a lifestyle. Every battle to make a kid eat a couple stems of broccoli before dessert is worth it. When it comes to healthy living, or anything else, kids don’t learn good habits by accident.

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