Physical Activity

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What You Can Do - Children & Families

Be Aware:

  • that every bit of physical activity is important, and more is better.
  • that physical activity and active play is essential for healthy growth and development.
  • of the type of physical activity appropriate to your child’s age and stage.Keep it fun and free from stress or competition.
  • that families play a key role in role modeling, providing praise and being involved.
  • that regular physical activity which increases heart rate and breathing, benefits the mind and body of school-aged children.
  • of the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth which includes recommendations for physical activity, time spent sitting and sleep.
  • of physical activity and healthy communities information/resources available to you and your community by contacting the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit “Health Connection” line at 705-721-7520 or toll free at 1-877-721-7520.

Make It Easy:

  • for your children to enjoy active play every day.
  • for your children to find ways to make physical activity part of their daily routine such as walking/cycling with them to school.
  • by helping children to establish adequate physical activity patterns in early childhood as this will have an impact on them later in life.
  • by parking the car and walking part of the way to your destination.
  • by ensuring time for unstructured physical activity in safe outdoor play spaces.
  • by providing opportunities and encouragement for your children to participate in organized sport and other structured physical activity programs.
  • by teaching your children that physical activity can be fun and not a chore.  Try something new and adventurous.
  • to limit the amount of time spent sitting by getting active as a family in the evening.

Be Involved:

  • in role modeling.  Your children watch and learn from you.  show them how easy and fun daily activity can be.
  • in helping your child to develop fundamental movement skills/physical literacy so they become confident and competent in a wide variety of activity settings.
  • in setting limits on screen time.
  • in taking regular physical activity/stretch breaks during long road trips.
  • in activity together as a family.  Explore local parks and trails.
  • in supporting your child’s school with physical activity initiatives.
  • in seeking investments in physical activity equipment at your child’s school.
  • in supporting active and safe routes to school and a walking school bus.
  • but give your children the opportunity to choose what they would like to do and how they want to be active.

Speak Out:

  • by talking with your mayor or ward councilor about a healthy community design that supports you and your family to safely walk and cycle to places.
  • for well-designed and maintained neighbourhood parks, natural areas and green space that enable children to safely explore and play.
  • by asking about no cost/low cost physical activity programming in your community.
  • for school policies that support physical activity programs and resources.
  • for school play areas, equipment and facilities that support safe and active play.
  • to ensure your child is provided with daily physical activity at school.
  • for school support to organize an Active and Safe Routes to School program.
  • for traffic calming measures and car-free zones at your child’s school.
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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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