Being active as a family
If you'd like your child to be healthy, start by looking at yourself and your family. Being active as a family allows you to be good role models, it helps everyone reduce stress, and it's a chance to have fun together. But it takes some organisation to get going, and effort to maintain.
Building activity into daily life
Usually the biggest hurdle to family activity is finding time, but you don’t need to do everything all the time. Just try and fit a few activities into daily life in a balanced way:
- Walk or ride a bike with your child to the local shops or to and from school
- Encourage children to help with household chores such as walking the dog, washing the car or mowing the lawn
- Go for a family walk after dinner
- Keep a football, frisbee, jump rope, scooters or bat and ball in your car at all times.
Some activities take more organisation. While this requires effort at the start, it can produce good results that really last:
- Plan ahead and schedule a regular time for physical activity that fits in with the whole family
- Take part in either organised sport or activities in the park – make it a feature of your weekend, e.g. football, bike rides, kite-flying
- Plan family holidays with a view to being active, e.g. somewhere near the beach or where there are good walks to do. Remember to take bikes, tennis rackets, balls and other equipment
Don't get caught out this school holidays! Go Play, lists a range of fun activities to keep the whole family smiling and active. Take an elevated walk around the historic brickpit and learn about the habitat of its tiny resident, the endangered Green and Golden Bell frog. Get involved with the Amazing Chase at Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park and ready, set, go, on a family bike ride with a difference. Get hooked on fishing - at Lake Keepit Sport and Recreation Centre and learn fishing basics and undertake other fun activities. Visit the Go Play website (new window) for more details.
School Holiday Camps
A Sport and Recreation Centre is a great destination for to spend an active holiday for families individuals and groups. A terrific range of outdoor activities are offered daily at a variety of locations so take your pick of a beach holiday, bayside retreat or country escape. Packages cater for all ages.
There are eleven sport and recreation centres around NSW Read more: Camps (new window).
Keeping up the activity
It’s easy to get carried away with enthusiasm for family activity, then let it slip as time goes by. To avoid this happening:
- Choose activities the whole family will enjoy. Make a list of ideas from each family member and choose a few activities from the list
- Vary the activities to prevent boredom
- Don’t overspend – work out how much you can afford and choose activities based on that
- Choose convenient locations – if you need to travel for an activity (swimming pool, park) try to make it close to home
- Set goals so that your family’s progress can be tracked, then set new goals to keep interest up.