Hop, Skip and Jump for Health

It’s World ‘Move for Health Day’ on the 10th May.  This important awareness day is driven by the World Health Organization and given the increased incidence of obesity in adults and children in South Africa, it’s important to create awareness around this in our country.

It is up to each and every one of us to look after our and our children’s overall health, and overall health means a balance between a healthy diet, exercise and mental well-being.  Exercise can help to manage your weight, motivate you to eat more healthily and improve your state of mind!  Active children are more likely to be active adults, and so it’s important for us to encourage activity in young children, as well as a healthy diet of course. 

Children are generally encouraged to participate in activities at school, but if they only participate in prescribed activities, they may not be getting enough exercise during the week.  Encourage them to take part in extra-mural activities at school, such as netball, hockey, soccer, since these are mostly freely offered by schools.  They don’t have to be a top player, just participating will improve their health, teach them to work in a team and very importantly, to have fun! 
Exercise increases blood flow in the body and brain, and it may therefore improve academic performance and concentration during class.  It will also help to manage body weight, especially if children’s diets are providing excess fat and sugar.

Children learn by example, so if we don’t take the time to include exercise in our lives, then that’s what we are teaching them to do.  If there is not sufficient time during the week to do any activity for yourself or for your children, then try and include some form of activity on the weekend.  What can you do? Help kids to form a soccer or netball team in the community at school or a local community centre, take organized walks or cycle in large groups (to be safe) around the neighbourhood.  Simple activities like hopscotch, skipping, using community jungle gyms and a trampoline allow kids to get out of the house, away from the television having good old fashioned fun whilst exercising.

Playing your part in providing a healthy, nutritious diet will also help to balance children’s overall health.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided by the SPAR Group Ltd for general information purposes only. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.