170719 Grandchildren and exercise part 1 of 2
When I was a child we walked up hill both ways to school, toiled in the fields until dark and then carried candles so we could see what we were doing out there…Yeah you bet that’s how I grew up. I did do my share of pitching hay bales in the hot and humid Michigan sun.
As our children grew up they were active, for hours at a time, in the woods around our home. But that was before the advent of the home computer and the rapidly expanding video game craze.
To this day, they are all active young adults. This is not necessarily the case with many of the younger generation though.
Are your grandkids active? If not, you may be the perfect person to get them started on an active lifestyle. They see you being active and doing things and want to do the same things. In some cases, these things may have to be modified to match their abilities. After all they are not young adults they are children.
Recent studies have clearly shown that our children aged, 12-21 years, are not getting enough physical exercise. The obesity rates continue to climb bringing with it increased risks of diabetes, cardiovascular and bone diseases, along with a wide assortment of associated medical problems in their future.
Regular physical activity brings with it greater strength, endurance and confidence in ones self. It helps build strong bones and better weight management along with reduces stress and anxiety. The social implications are manifested in life long friendships brought on by common goals and values that are developed through the fun and enjoyment of sports participation. You could be their work out partner.
Last but certainly not least is the skills that are developed during this active time of their lives.
As concerned grandparents, we need to consider providing places for safe play to take place. Notice I did not say more sports opportunities but simply places to run and play tag, jump and climb without fearing for their safety every second.
Since we are the adults in this equation, it is incumbent upon us to do something about this health problem. Lead by example; get off the couch, set the TV clicker aside and go outside for a walk. Take them along to your fitness group, if that is allowed. If not and there isn’t one start your own by asking a them to go for a walk or skip rope with you at a convenient time.