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Page added on November 21, 2011

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PLAYTIME – PUTTING FUN INTO FITNESS

My wife and I were recently blessed with the arrival of identical twin boys!  A total life changer!!  I already have a four year old daughter, but yet I still feel the need to step up as a father, husband and a role-model for my family.  I want to show my children that “active playing” is more fun than watching T.V. or “playing video games.”  Now don’t get me wrong, I know there’s a place for T.V and video games, both could be quite educational, and both can be used to keep your kids occupied during a long drive or even trying to get some work done – I know, I’ve used both mediums!  However, it isn’t the best long-term solution nor is it a lifestyle I want to promote.

I was looking at the statistics in Canada, and there has been a dramatic increase in unhealthy weights in children. Obesity rates in children have almost tripled in the last 25 years. Approximately 26% of Canadian children ages 2-17 years old are currently overweight or obese.  These children will grow up with numerous health issues and carry those issues into their adulthood.  There are also many social and psychological issues that children must face while growing up.  I don’t want this for my kids!

The Canadian Government even introduced the “Canadian Children’s Fitness Tax Credit”, because they feared what was happening to our kids and what kind of burden they would put on the economy as adults.  The Canadian Children’s Fitness Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit which began in 2007 which lets parents claim up to $500 in eligible fees for enroling a child under 16 in an eligible program of physical activity.

“We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we grow old because we stop exercising” – Dr. Kenneth Cooper

My daughter loves dance and gymnastics.  She also sees “daddy” exercising, and at four years old – she imitates me with her pushups, burpees, treadmill run (walk for her) and so many other exercises.  I also want my sons to see that “movement is fun!”  But, other than physical fitness – being active has many other benefits for kids:

  • I want my kids growing up with the feeling of “success’, not necessarily winning, but just being happy about what they’ve accomplished and or completed.  I want them not to be afraid to set goals and go after them!
  • FUN – it’s all about fun.  Playing sports is a great way to make new friends, learn new things, and develop new skills.
  • I want my kids to grow up with an EDGE – sports, dance, and pretty much any active game will help develop children’s listening skills, balance and coordination, teamwork, leadership and social skills, strength and flexibility, which are all important while growing up.
  • SELF –ESTEEM; I want my kids to learn that it’s ok to fall, as long as you get back up, it’s ok to lose as long as you try your best.  I want them to believe in themselves and be willing to take risks to reap the rewards.

“It’s the lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself.”  – Muhammad Ali

What kind of role model are you for your children?  Do you sit in front of the TV for hours?  Are you too tired to walk to the store?  Do your kids hear you when you make an excuse – why you can’t go to the gym today?  Wouldn’t you rather invest your money on a fitness program that the Canadian government will give you a tax credit for or would you like to invest that money in health care costs, such as prescription drugs for your child’s health issue?  As parents, we are the first step in creating our children’s lifestyle.  What kind of lifestyle do you want for your kids?

Jay Raymundo

Certified Personal Trainer and Father









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