Are Your Children Interfering With Your Fitness Goals?
In the press release regarding the study, lead investigator Dr. Simon L. Bacon, Associate Researcher at the Montreal Heart Institute and Professor at Concordia University, states that these findings implicate a need for a family-oriented approach to encourage individuals with children to exercise. This is a concept that has been starting to take root here in the United States as a means by which to combat childhood obesity. Parents who exercise regularly themselves tend to raise children who are more likely to participate in physical activity. Regular exercise can help with weight maintenance and is associated with a reduced risk for chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
Family exercise has many health benefits that stem beyond the physical - mental and emotional effects occur as well as, including a stronger family bond. The activities that you participate in as a family do not have to be mundane - taking turns running on the treadmill could get to be a little boring, not to mention that it is not very practical. There are many activities that you can do that are suitable for all ages and skills. The most obvious are family hikes in the woods, swimming in a nearby lake or community pool, and bike rides through the local park. Other possible activities include:
- Kayak or canoe trips
- Miniature golf
- Frisbee/disc golf
- Lawn bowling
- Ping Pong ball game (table tennis)
- Relay races in the backyard
- Playing tag or hide-and-seek games
Note: Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.
Press Release Media Relations Concordia University, July 20, 2010 "Surprising findings of a study conducted at the Montreal Heart Institute: Concordia University Professor Discovers Children Have a Negative Impact on Physical Activity Among Individuals with Heart Disease."