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What to DO

  • Role model being physically active and play actively with your children as much as possible. Also, try to make physical activity a normal aspect of the daily routine of your whole family. Model to children how walking or bicycling—rather than driving—to various destinations (like a park or playground) can be both fun and beneficial to health and the environment. Children are much more likely to be regularly active if their parent(s) support their involvement and are active. This support can take the form of encouraging, paying fees, and enabling access to programs and facilities rather than pressuring the child to meet excessive performance expectations.
  • Strive to meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for School Age Children of participating in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each day. This commitment includes participating in vigorous intensity activity at least three days each week and doing activities that strengthen your muscles and bones at least three days each week.
  • Use teachable moments to educate your child on how to improve his or her life skills (such as decision-making, problem-solving, self-knowledge and control, cooperation with others, motivation and empathy). Encourage your child to discuss and resolve their differences within groups (friends or teammates) as they encounter them—and to accomplish this respectfully and cooperatively.
  • Lobby your government representative to ensure appropriate policies for enhanced physical activity opportunities for children and youth at home, at school and in the community.
  • Try to have your child’s school provide both unstructured (free play) and structured (intramurals, playground games) opportunities for all students to be active including at recess, lunch break and after school.