Monday, June 14, 2010

Activate your kids this Summer!

“In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” Ex 20:11

Not too long ago, the NFL launched a campaign called “Play 60” which encourages kids to engage in 60 minutes of active play as a way of combating childhood obesity. Not a bad idea, but unnecessary if your kids are booked into camp.

Both of my daughters just finished a session at T Bar M Sports Camp. Each afternoon they had about 60 minutes of down time (called FOB for all you camp families). The rest of the day was spent in full-on, heart pumping, body moving play. From the sports field to the Blob pool, these kids generated enough kinetic energy to power up Switzerland.

Now that summer has arrived, it is time to strike that elusive balance for kid’s activities. Yes, they might prefer to sit around for a week of “mental recovery”. But don’t let that become an excuse for just exercising their thumbs through video games or texting. You don’t have to be a former P.E. teacher to inspire them. Check out a variety of outdoor options in your area: Frisbee golf, biking trails, skate parks, swimming pools or water parks are all great ways to maintain healthy bodies this summer. Remember, moving their bodies is good.

Did I mention the word “balance”? Some kids suffer from over-activity. Running from one sport to the next, coupled with non-stop weekend tournaments and practice sessions also have a negative effect. Some child development experts believe we have created an alternative danger by allowing our kids to be involved in too many activities. This lack of rest can lead to bone weary fatigue, apathy, a lowered immune system, and higher risk of injuries.

So, parents, pray for wisdom regarding your summer with the kids. What is the right amount of activity? How will you keep your children active while not pushing them too far?

God made our bodies to thrive on activity and rest. Just take a look at my girls. Camp has been over for almost a week, and they are both still asleep

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