Kids need to move more too!

Simple ideas to get your kids active this summer

With one quarter of England’s 10 and 11-year-olds now classed as severely obese, it’s clear that our kids aren’t getting enough exercise.

Obesity puts children at risk of… That’s why it’s even more important to encourage your child to turn off their tablet or TV and introduce more ways to move into their day.

Government guidelines state that 5-18 year olds should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – ranging from moderate activity, such as playground activities, to vigorous activity, such as running and tennis. They also need to include exercises for strong muscles and bones three days a week.

Sounds a lot, doesn’t it? So we’ve put together a few ideas to help you to get your child moving more during the summer holidays:

Be one with the screen: If switching off their device is going to start WWIII, use technology to your advantage! Change4Life has brought out a fun Train Like A Jedi video, to help your child master the ways of the Jedi – and get active! Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones will guide them through 12 special moves so they can feel like Star WarsTM characters Rey and Luke.

Now you’ve got their attention, why not head to the local park and see what it has to offer? From trim trails and climbing frames to tennis courts, most parks have some fun facilities that you can use to get active. Even if it’s just a field, take a football and have a kick around, or a ball or Frisbee for throwing and catching. Here are some fun ball games to get you started.

Sometimes being more active is about making smaller lifestyle changes rather than ‘doing an activity’. So, as much as possible this summer, use the better weather (fingers crossed) to ditch the car and walk or cycle instead, depending on the distance. Check out British Cycling’s recently launched initiative to get kids cycling more, Ready Set Ride, for some great free games to play during your ride together.

Walking with kids can sometimes feel like a bit of a battle, but a daily steps target will give them a purpose (and distraction) to their journeys, as well as healthy competition if siblings are involved. Studies suggest that 11,500 steps are a good indication of the recommended 60 minutes’ activity that children need. If you don’t have a pedometer or steps tracker, just get them to count the steps for each journey then add them all up at the end of the day as maths practice!

Even if the weather isn’t that great this summer, there are plenty of indoor activities that you could play together – badminton, squash, swimming (don't forget, kids under 8 swim for free at many of our centres), or even the gym if your child is over 11. For younger children, many of our centres have soft play facilities or bouncy castle sessions, or even courses, like Wiggle and Jiggle, aimed specifically at getting toddlers moving more.

If your child is more likely to be active when with other children, or just not with you(!), you could sign them up at an activities club for a day (or more) during the holidays. Many of our centres run day camps or sessions full of games and sports – including some that they might not otherwise get the chance to do, such as trampolining, gymnastics, martial arts and swimming to name a few. Find out what activity clubs your local centre has to offer this summer holiday.

With so many way to get your kids active, don't miss the chance - the summer will be over before you know it!