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Inspire a Generation and Take Action this Summer Olympics

July 23, 2012 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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With over 36 sports and 20 days of competition, this Olympics is going to be an amazing spectacle! In respect to this year’s tagline “inspire a generation,” I thought it would be good to prep our readers with some physical activity enthusiasm!

We know that our health is at risk due to an overwhelming increase in sedentary behaviour and screen time. I urge you to take action and help our children and youth benefit from the Olympic Games by providing opportunities for them to sit less and play more! There is no better time than the Olympics to be inspired to get out and be active and experience the many interesting sports that make up the Olympic Games.

Here are just a few creative ideas and tips to encourage activity:

  • Round up the neighbourhood parents and teens and create an “Olympic crew”. Make a schedule of events and have the neighbourhood have their own makeshift Olympic Games by providing the children and youth opportunities to mimic the sports on TV. You can either do this over an entire day, weekend or if you’re super gung ho... try a whole week of events!
  • If you don't have a lot of time to organize, you can always set aside time each and every day to try a new sport with your children and mimic the fun and excitement surrounding the Games.
  • Don't stress too much about the rules, just focus on getting outside and MOVING!
  • If you’re going to do an Olympic marathon and watch TV continuously, challenge yourself, family and or friends to do pushups, squats or lunges between every event and or race, go for the Gold!
  • Pay close attention to the events your children and family members love the most and provide support to get them started in participating in the event of interest as a recreational activity. The first step to getting and STAYING active is choosing something you like!
  • Call the PhysicalActivityLine for guidance on any of the above suggestions and or to creatively ponder up some other opportunities for activity.

I urge you to comment below on the Healthy Families BC or The Physical Activity Line’s Facebook pages as to how you plan on integrating the fun and excitement of the Olympic sports into the lives of your families and friends this summer!

Remember: A teacher affects eternity... He can never tell where his influence stops... Henry Adams.


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