gender classifications for toys are removed, both boys and girls can thrive splashing in puddles, playing tag, climbing ropes or learning to roller skate. There are no limits or rules: just do what suits your family and your child.
Aside from helping children to maintain a healthy weight - especially relevant since an estimated 12% of Canadian children are overweight or obese - there are other important physical benefits to taking part in sports or activities.
Regular physical activity helps to build strong muscles and bones, strengthens the heart and lungs, and lowers stress and anxiety levels.
At a time when so many children and young people are feeling worried about catching up at school or missing loved ones, this is a really important aspect of their health to take care of. Regular exercise should also help your child to sleep more restfully too.
In addition to the physical benefits above, there are a multitude of other reasons to encourage kids to be enthusiastic about sports and adopting an active lifestyle.
A study from the University of British Colombia has shown that participating in team sports can help young people to feel more optimistic and develop a sense of belonging. It’s also a great way to make friends and protect your child from boredom, loneliness and isolation.
As your child grows up, if they are in the habit of being active, they will find it easier to carve out time from higher studies or work, and will have the tools at their disposal to de-stress, relax, and unwind in a healthy way.
Now more than ever, children need to be given ways to let off some steam and build healthy habits, and getting active is one of the very best. They will take their cues from you, so try to make it fun.
Encourage them as they learn, find ways to be active as a family, and be positive about the brilliant things they are achieving for their mind and body. There’s nothing to lose and everything to win.
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