In 2014 a scary 62% of adults in England were classified as overweight or obese, compared to 53% 20 years earlier. More than two-thirds of men and almost six in 10 women are overweight or obese.
So what is it we’re doing wrong? How did things get so bad over the last two decades? Whilst growing up you may have been exposed to a couple of hours of television a week if you were on your best behaviour. But as millenials, our children will be used to the mobile phone and tablet culture. How are they supposed to remain fit and healthy if they’re staying in gaming, texting or swiping? Get them off their phones and open their eyes to the real world.
Decades ago, kids spent the majority of their time outside. Here are a few ideas for how to get your children outside for some family fun:
Walk to School
Obviously walking to school depends on geographics, but most people who live within walking distance to school still choose to get a lift. Walking to school rates have declined to the lowest ever. This is a simple choice that could really benefit the mental health of both parents and children. Another idea is to take bikes or scooters.
Use the Weekends
Don’t let the weekends continue to pass you by without doing anything memorable with your kids. Ask them what they actually want to do and make them the best days. To avoid arguments and politics about which child gets to choose where you go, give each child a date in the calendar – make it happen. Suggestions might be a visit to the beach, the farm or a theme park.
Take advantage of the lighter evenings
When the kids get back from school, instead of the usual routine of dinner-bath-bed, surprise them by packing a picnic to take to the park for an al fresco dinner. Play rounders, cricket or football in the park. Let them climb trees, play hide and seek and run wild.
Whether you go to your local outdoor lido or an indoor pool, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you and your children and moving, and swimming is one of the best ways to exercise. Your children will be stimulated and tired out from all the fun so you should expect a good night sleep after an afternoon at the pool.
Ready, Steady, Scoot
Scooters have been around for almost 20 years, but they’re back and cooler than ever. Not only can scooting help young children develop skills such as steering, stopping and balancing but it’s an activity you can do locally and together. Scooting encourages physical activity at any age, which leads to a healthier lifestyle. Both young and old can find a scooter that fits, and scooting itself is relatively easy to learn.
Take a Hike
There are so many beautiful places in the UK waiting to be explored. If you have older kids, why not climb mount snowdon or visit the new forest national park. It shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to get your kids there now that the warmer months are approaching.
We hope you take on board these tips and are able to spend some quality time with your loved ones enjoying nature and the outdoors as well as staying fit and healthy.