I just returned from a month-long hiatus, visiting my family and friends back home. It provided a much-needed break from my everyday routine, and even more, refreshed my heart and mind.
I've been concerned that when I drive through most neighborhoods, there is almost never any children playing outside. One would think that only adults live in the houses. It seems so different from when I was a kid, and even different from when my adult children were young.
Kids don't ask to go outside to play any longer and parental concern undoubtedly prevents parents from sending kids outside to play. Video games and computers occupy the minds of the young, and while that's not a bad thing, their bodies are vastly unused.
During my visit home, I was fortunate to spend time with my grandchildren. The kids and adults were outside much of the time--and the kids played and played. It was heart-warming.
Parents are busy people, often with both partners working outside the home. Relaxation time is at a premium. But if you have chosen to have kids, you need to spend some of that down time with them, and be physically active with them whenever possible.
The activity doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Playing catch or throwing the football with mom or dad is just as rewarding to a child as any paid-for excursion. And you'll find it to be rewarding to you as a parent.
We don't have control over the experiences our children will remember later in life, but the more positive experiences you and they encounter, the more likely it is that the memories built will be positive also.
Besides the health benefits of regular physical activity for your children and for you, you'll be providing good parent-child interaction and building positive lifestyle choices for your children to continue into their adult lives.