Skip into spring and get active!

With spring on its way. The temperature has started to pick up and the rain has subsided. It is the perfect time to get outside and be active with your family.

New research, led by the University of Western Australia (UWA) has reported that two-thirds of Australian children do not get enough exercise. Australian government guidelines recommend 180 minutes of physical activity each day, anything more is better.

Healthy Harold loves being active

This may seem like a lot but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Things you find fun and might do anyway can also count. Take a ball to the park and play a game of soccer, go to the beach for a swim in the sea, or get your children to teach you a new skill. Even bushwalking, taking the dog for a brisk walk, or dancing can all count towards your daily physical activity quota.

There are many physical benefits to exercise such as improving your cardiovascular health, releasing endorphins and getting vital vitamin D (if you are active outside). The benefits aren't only physical.

Physical activity is not only important for a child's physical development and fitness, it is important for their brain development and mental health and helps them to develop socially and emotionally, It is about having fun, moving and playing every day.

UWA lead researcher Hayley Christian

The emotional benefits of exercising, especially when done as a family, can also help foster connectedness and some valuable quality time.

It also is a great way to keep yourself healthy at the same time – how many of us are guilty of using the kids as an excuse not to make the gym or that exercise class you had wholeheartedly planned to go to! Working out with all the family will ensure that you are happy and healthier for getting your recommended daily amount of physical activity. 

You can even use your active time to be productive too. Why not ditch the car and walk instead? Or try some gardening? Spring is the perfect time to plant seeds, not only will this teach children a sense of responsibility by remembering to water them every day, but it will also be exciting for them to learn how they grow. Best of all, they’ll reap the rewards come Autumn with lots of healthy home-grown vegies to eat.

Life Education modules All Systems Go, My Body Matters, Ready Steady Go! all have information about keeping your body healthy for children of varying ages.