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Back to School...Staying Active!

August 29, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Back to School...Staying Active!

Today's guest blogger is Zainisha Vasanji, PhD, Certified Exercise Physiologist.

Zainisha has a Doctor of Philosophy in Health and Exercise Physiology from the University of Calgary. She also has the Certified Exercise Physiologist qualification through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.

When not working at the Physical Activity Line, you can catch her playing disc golf, bocce and backgammon. Thanks for joining us today Zainisha!

For the past couple of months, many BC kids have been outside swimming, biking and doing other kinds of active play. As we head back to school, many children find themselves sitting throughout the day.

Here are some easy ways to get kids moving:Did you know that if kids walked to destinations within one kilometer, they would, on average, meet 1/3 of their daily physical activity requirements for overall health?

  • Walk, bike, or rollerblade (wearing safety gear) to and/or from school. If this isn't possible, then organize or help to organize a walking school bus or bicycle train.  
  • Make commuting to and/or from after-school activities active. Walk or bike to drop off and/or pick up your children or arrive early and actively explore the area.
  • After homework is done, do an evening activity as a family instead of sitting in front the TV. Go geocaching, play frisbee or soccer in your backyard or local park, or go for a walk, bike, or rollerblade around your neighbourhood. Get friends together, get outside and get active. Organize a game of road hockey, a game of pickup basketball, or invite your friends to the park for a game of tag or capture the flag.

Why is physical activity important? No matter what your age, being physically active has many health benefits. According to the Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Guidelines:

  • Children and Youth aged 5-17 should have at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and no more than two-hours of recreational screen time per day.
  • Adults 18 years and over should have at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

PS. If you would like more tips on how to get active safely and effectively with your family, contact the Physical Activity Line at 8-1-1 for FREE advice from qualified exercise professionals.

Feel free to comment below and share your tips with the community on how your kids stay active throughout the school year.

Happy back to school! Be active! Have fun! Stay safe!

References and Resources:
Sit Less, Move More
Children: Fitting Physical Activity into their Busy Day
New Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the Early Years
ParticipACTION: Bring Back Play!
Public Health Agency of Canada: Physical Activity
Active Healthy Kids Canada

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