As the summer holidays have begun and our daily school runs fall by the wayside, I’m keen to make sure that we keep our exercise levels up! I for one notice very quickly when we’re off school and I lose those three walks a day! My fitbit step count is suddenly considerably lower! I often look at my kids running everywhere and wish I still felt that excited about life! I’ve always been keen to get my children out of their pushchairs and walking from a fairly early age – in part as there’s usually been another baby on the way who needs the seat! What this does mean though is that all three kids are really “good” walkers – they walk at a fair pace, for a good distance without too much moaning! My Mum always says how proud my Grandad would be of them for that – he always loved a good walk!
1 in 3 children between the ages of 2 and 10 are overweight . . . that’s a seriously scary statistic and one I have no desire for my children to be part of. My own weight and fitness levels leave something to be desired and I really don’t want them to be following in my footsteps.
Where the blame for this situation lies I’m not sure – perhaps as parents we are not setting the right example, perhaps we are not strict enough with our children’s diets, perhaps we’re just not getting them outside enough? Or, perhaps the blame lies with schools and poor PE or outdoor play equipment? Perhaps it’s a lack of education for us as adults as to the negative effects of being overweight and what we can or should be doing about it? Or, maybe its the fault of fast food chains and supermarkets pedalling their unhealthy, processed wares . . .
You know what, I think that in part we are probably all to blame. Regardless, we must all be part of the solution. We need to take responsibility for what our children are eating. We need to take responsibility for not just encouraging them to take more exercise, but for ensuring that they do.
This summer we will be spending as much time as possible outside – walking the dog, riding bikes and scooters or just making the most of having some lovely parks nearby. Come September, we’ll be walking to school every day (sometimes three times a day for me and Amy), Ben will go back to dance class and everyone will carry on with their swimming lessons. I have no concerns about my children’s weight or activity levels right now and I’d like to keep it that way!