I have fond memories of visiting my grandparents as I grew up. On my mother’s side, I recall running around in my grandfather’s impressive garden while eating raspberries and trying not to kick up the younger plots. On my father’s side, we would go for strolls and run errands at the shopping center with my grandmother.
Regardless of age or ability, everyone needs to be active. Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children spend at least an hour a day doing moderate to vigorous physical activity, and that adults do at least 150 minutes per week. One of the more fun ways to meet these recommendations is to be active with loved ones (partner, children, or grandparents!).
Youngsters visiting Grandma and Grandpa can encourage their grandparents to get moving, like I did when I was young, with the boundless energy they bring through the door. Here are some ideas on how grandparents can be active with their grandchildren:
- After school: Grandparents can pick up children from school and walk home together. If distance is an issue, play at the school, in the local park together before or after the commute home.
- On weekends: Grandparents and grandchildren can do a variety of active things together. Try visiting a park and playing one of these games, going for a short hike, or going to the pool.
Did you know? There are many benefits to doing activities with people in different age groups – like when grandparents play games with their grandkids. Here’s a few:
- It gives children opportunities to learn more about their family history and traditions (for example, tobogganing or fishing).
- Grandparents can be excellent role models. When children see their grandparents (or parents) practise physical activity, it promotes active living and lifelong good habits.
- It gives grandparents a way to connect with their grandchildren, and experience some of their interests.
What memories do you have of being active with your grandparents?
October 1 is National Seniors Day! A great time to make a playdate and celebrate with Grandma and Grandpa. Learn more here.
Government of Canada: National Seniors Day
ParticipACTION: Getting Active with Age: Encouraging Seniors to Keep Moving!