By Kim Holmes – Kim is a Personal Trainer and the owner of My Fit Coach. She helps busy moms care for their bodies (and minds) through online fitness and nutrition programs. She is a mom of two young sons who attend Glencairn Public School. Kim understands that busy parents don’t have hours to spend at the gym. Her online programs are efficient, fun and most importantly, they make fitness fit into your REAL life.

Kim Holmes and her two sons

Summer holidays are a busy time for most families. We head on family vacations and most weekends are booked with places to go and people to see. With the hustle and bustle of summer, it’s easy to lose track of how much activity our kids are getting.

As a Personal Trainer for moms, I know how much regular activity benefits our mood and energy levels (to name a few). As a parent of an 8 year old and 6 year old boy, I know firsthand that kids are no different. When my kids don’t get a chance to run and play often, they get…well kind of squirrelly for lack of a better word. Kids need to move!

Here are a few of the ways kids can benefit from physical activity:

  • Better sleep
  • Improved mood and ability to regulate behaviour
  • Improved concentration and cognitive function
  • Reduced risk of chronic disease
  • Strengthens muscles and growing bones and prevents injury
  • Improved self confidence

So how much exercise do kids actually need?

The Government of Canada currently recommends that kids between the ages of 5-11 get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every single day.

Moderate activities are ones that get your heart rate up but you could still carry on a conversation (think playing on the playground or going for a walk).

Vigorous physical activity will also increase heart rate but children will not be able to carry on a conversation with you (think running or playing soccer).

This 60 minutes a day guideline may seem a bit overwhelming at first when you’ve got a lot of things on your to-do list this summer. But it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think.

Here are a few ways you can get your kids moving this summer

Outdoor fun: on days where the weather is great, just get outside and move. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are some great ways to stay active in the outdoors:

  • Family bike rides
  • Scavenger hunt in the woods
  • Shooting  hoops
  • A soccer game
  • Swimming
  • Family walks
  • A game of tag
  • Planting a garden (bonus points for planting your own veggies!)
  • Hitting the playground

For days when you can’t leave the house: some days you can’t get out of the house or you can’t get outside due to weather. Try holding your own indoor dance party with your kids. Turn on the music and just move and be silly. This is a favourite at my house!

You can also try the deck of cards game to bust through a rainy day rut. In only 15-20 minutes I guarantee you and your kids will get an energy boost and a great workout too.

Monkey See Monkey Do: while it’s great to talk about activity for our kids, one of the best ways we can help them stay healthy is to model the active lifestyle ourselves. Kids are smart little creatures. If we talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, they’re gonna call our bluff.

We grown ups should aim for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every single week.

If you’re brand new to exercise start with something as simple as walking or biking. You’ll notice the benefits really quickly and you’ll be setting a great example for your kids too.

Wishing you a safe, healthy and active summer from My Fit Coach!

  • Kim Holmes

P.S. Check out my upcoming FREE 5 Days to Fit Challenge; An online home fitness and nutrition program for moms who are short on time (designed by a mom who totally gets it!)

Parent Posts are written by parents, for parents in collaboration with PIC. This series features guest parent bloggers where they share resources and information with other parents. We invite you to email and let us know if there are other topics you’d like to learn more about on Parent Posts.

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