The summer holidays are a cool time of year that most whanau/families look forward to with excitement.
It's a great time to relax, unwind, recuperate and switch off. However, that downtime period can also lead to sedentary options and inactivity. The results of the most recent Ministry of Health Survey (conducted in 2015) indicate that we have become a very sedentary population.
The survey found nearly half of children aged five to 14 years (50%) usually watch two or more hours of television a day – more than what is recommended as a maximum.
With many computer games and gaming consoles available, children are now spending too much time being inactive, while at the same time, not reaching the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Regular exercise has many benefits, including building and maintaining strong muscles and bones, feeling happier, connecting with others and learning new skills. Active children are more confident and often do better in school as they are able to concentrate for longer periods, sleep better and generally grow up to be fit and active adults.
Here are some great ideas to keep active during the Christmas break:
- Take time to have active fun with your children, such as playing outside or dancing to your favourite music. You could even get out the tarp, dishwashing liquid and hose for slip n slide fun! This is a chance to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the warmer summer weather.
- Include active options in the weekend, such as walking around the Mount or around the estuary, along the Lakes, through the Redwoods or along the Kohi Point Walkway. You could go to the park or play cricket on the beach. The bonus with these activities is they come at no cost.
- Find fun, active ways to celebrate the festive season, such as a sports challenge, swimming challenge around the buoys in Pilot Bay or how about a cycling track Christmas party?
- Take every opportunity to leave your car at home and walk, or choose other active options, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift when shopping or getting off the bus stop one stop early. Think of the term ‘snacktivity' – 10 minute bouts of exercise during the day all add up!
For other ideas and information on what is available in the Bay of Plenty, you can visit the ‘Get Involved' section on the Sport Bay of Plenty website at www.sportbop.co.nz.
Start your journey to a more active lifestyle and better health outcomes now!