Active Kids = Active Adults

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recently released new physical activity guidelines for kids, and it got me thinking…..

You can find the guidelines here, but I’ll give you a quick summary:

  • Toddlers (1-2yrs) and Preschoolers (3-4yrs): 180 minutes (3 hours) of physical activity per day
  • Kids (5-11yrs) and Teens (12-17yrs): 60 minutes (1 hour) of physical activity per day
  • Adults (18-64yrs) and Seniors (65+yrs): 150 minutes (2.5 hrs) of physical activity per week

I’m happy to say that our family meets these minimum guidelines, but I would bet that many don’t.  In our fast-paced society of long commutes, office jobs, daycare, school, and ‘screen-time’, many people go from one chair to another all day long.  But the people I worry about are our kids.  Inactivity as a child leads to inactivity as an adult; and this can lead to a whole host of other health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression to name a few. 

What if we taught our kids to see physical activity as a lifestyle rather than a checkmark on a to-do list?  This was the case for myself as a kid- my childhood memories involve being outside, running around, and doing family activities- so I find it hard to understand physical activity being viewed as a chore.  It’s always been part of my lifestyle and I can’t imagine life without being active every day.  I hope that by going to the gym several times a week, taking my kids to local races, going for bikerides, or spending a Saturday morning hiking in the trails, that I am teaching them that life = activity.  I hope they don’t have to fight a battle with themselves as adults to get off the couch and get moving.  I hope they get moving because that’s what they’ve always done.  I hope that movement is their ‘normal’.

I think we can make our kids happier, healthier, and more well-rounded through physical activity.  And I think we can start today. 

Here’s my 3-year-old running in a 1km Kid’s race with his Dad.  Can you see the pride in his little face?

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2 thoughts on “Active Kids = Active Adults

  1. I totally agree that activity and exercise needs to be something that is ‘normal’ in kids lives. Helping them to explore what kinds of things they like to do and what makes them feel good could be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to it with my son – so far wrestling and gymnastics seem to be favourites. .

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