Setting Kids Up for Healthy Success

YMCA Calgary believes in creating opportunities for people of all ages to build healthy lives. Communities thrive when people are active, energized and eager to participate in recreational activities and sports. As new generations of Canadians grow, it is imperative we ensure their understanding of healthy living for the better of our society.

By now, most of us have heard the alarming statistics about the status of Canadian people’s health. Particularly shocking is the status of our children’s weight levels:

“There has also been a dramatic increase in unhealthy weights in children. In 1978, only 15% of children were overweight or obese. By 2007, Statistics Canada found that 29% of adolescents had unhealthy weights. Most adolescents do not outgrow this problem and in fact, many continue to gain excess weight. If current trends continue, by 2040, up to 70% of adults aged 40 years will be either overweight or obese.”

How do we encourage our next generations to be interested in and take an active part in their own health?

Active play is a start. Getting kids up and moving seems to be a tricky task these days when there are many things that tempt them to remain stagnant: TV, video games, Internet surfing, etc. Try to remember all those fun games from when you were young, like tag, skipping, contests to see who can shoot more baskets, etc.–the level of fun hasn’t changed! What has changed is that many kids haven’t even been introduced to these fun ways to play and be active. Do things as a family, like dance, hosting active birthday parties, training for a family fun run, do yard work to be a good role model.

What about rainy days or cold weather? How to keep kids active indoors? There are many ideas to keep kids moving while inside. Create an indoor obstacle course with towels and pillows. Or what about using making tape on the floor to make a hopscotch game? Play musical statues where kids freeze when the music stops. It’s all fun and it all gets young people active.

Using unique objects to intrigue kids is a great way to raise interest. Consider sensory elements, how objects move & the sounds they make. Use small logs and rocks to build a tower, Hop over the roots of a big tree, balance your way across a fallen tree, create a secret path in a nearby grove of trees, crawl through long grass, splash around in a mud puddle.

Ready to help kids get active? Wondering next steps? There are tons of useful websites like: