Is it possible to promote exercise to the new generation?

Promoting an active lifestyle to our children in modern times can be a formidable task. In an age where the nationwide obesity epidemic is strewn across front pages, programme funding for activities is ever decreasing, and technology banishing any interest of physical activity our children may have once had, it is more important, and difficult, for parents to make fitness a fundamental part of family life.

Participation in physical activity is vital for healthy growth and development. It can reduce the risks of ever-more apparent chronic conditions, and improve not just physical, but mental health and wellbeing. Getting involved in sport can build self-esteem and confidence, through the sense of achievement progressing in a new activity will bring. Children will learn to push themselves, set-goals and trust their own abilities, whilst also building new social skills.

“A variety of activities and sports are essential for children – promoting fitness, health benefits, socialisation and good citizenship by playing by the rules”, says Haydn Preece of Southport FC regarding the matter.

An active lifestyle should be both enjoyable, and rewarding. Get your children involved with something they are eager to try, or something they have expressed interest in.

“The most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle are to be active in a sport or activity that you truly enjoy,” states Ricky Brooks of Southport’s Gymnastics and Tumbling. “Taking part in sport, whether at a participation or competitive level, builds character, creates bonds outside of school with children who have common aims and objectives, and, promotes a healthy lifestyle that children will hopefully continue throughout adulthood.”

Your children will be enjoying exercise as a fun activity, rather than forcing themselves to partake in physical activity says Ricky, “so many children unconsciously choose an active and healthy lifestyle simply because they want to learn how to roll, cartwheel and, flic, trick or tumble.”

Encourage your children in their new activities and praise them for their achievements, even get yourself involved with your children’s new pursuits – monkey see, monkey do! Let your children see you exercise and incorporate fitness into family life; curiosity will soon follow. Run around a park with them, go on family bike rides with one another and explore cycle routes, or even make simple changes such as cycling to work or school and walking the dog together.

Interest in physical activity at a young age is a priceless asset for a child to attain, taking with them new experiences, social understanding, skills and good physical wellbeing. View an active lifestyle as somewhat of an investment – your children will carry the benefits with them into their young adult lives.

For more information about classes that Southport FC has to offer visit: www.southportfc.net or call: 01704533422

For more information about gymnastics classes at Gymnastics and Tumbling, visit: www.gymnasticsandtumbling.co.uk or call Ricky: 07545548339

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