30 Day Fitness Experiment

What can you do for your body in 30 days?

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Tadpoles

At 30 Day Fitness Experiment, we’re always talking about ways to make physical activity part of normal, day-to-day life. This is as important for children as it is for adults. It used to be that children played outside regularly, running and jumping and climbing and building… but we know that’s not the norm anymore.

California Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights

California Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights

In response to reports that childhood obesity and inactivity are causing an alarming amount of health problems in young people, several states have enacted a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. California, Maryland, Florida and North Carolina each have their own version, and Iowa appears to be working on developing one.

Some of the basic elements include swimming/splashing in water, camping under the stars, catching a fish, learning to swim, following a trail, building a fort or sandcastle, connecting with the natural world, and celebrating their heritage.

Another common thread is having a responsible adult to share these experiences with. What can you do in your own family or community to promote children’s health and physical activity? Here are a few things:

  1. Turn off the TV. Take your family for a walk, swim, hike, or bike instead.
  2. Volunteer and become involved at your children’s school. Offer to chaperon a field trip, and offer ideas for alternatives to pizza parties as a celebration of accomplishment.
  3. Plan ahead for active vacations. Going on a trip sometimes involves renting a car, laying around reading novels, etc. But with a bit of advance planning, you can take a trip without the car, which means getting around more on your own two feet. It’s also an exercise in packing light and getting by on less, since you’ll be carrying your things with you while you walk or bike. Remember to include progressively longer walks as part of your planning. You don’t want to get exhausted because you’re not used to walking or biking!
  4. Brainstorm with your kids and make your own Outdoor Bill of Rights. Find out what interests them and make a bucket list of things to experience before their 14th birthday.
  5. Have fun! Lifestyle fitness is about sustaining an active way of life, with or without the gym or aerobics class. Physical fitness shouldn’t be a chore or a punishment for your kids. If it isn’t fun, it won’t be sustainable.
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May 26, 2010 Posted by | Lifestyle Fitness, The Physically Active Family | , , , , | 2 Comments