Keeping active over the holidays

Keeping active over the holidays

Being active every day and spending less time sitting is vital for our health and well-being. The holidays are a great time to get out and be more active, so why not spread the word amongst family and friends and plan fun activities that can be enjoyed together.

So, you’re looking for things to keep you active over the holidays? Here’s a list of 10 things you can do with family and friends:

  • Kayak or paddleboard on the river, lake or the sea.
  • Get a group together and go for a bushwalk (make sure to get an early start if it’s going to be a hot day).
  • Get the family together and plant some vegies, a summer garden or put together a potted feature.
  • Plan a picnic. Make sure to choose a setting that will allow you to get everyone involved in a treasure hunt.
  • Grab a frisbee or a ball and head to the park or the beach.
  • If you want to stay home – set up the slip and slide and go for it!
  • Head to the beach and make a sand sculpture together, or take the cricket set and get batting.
  • Explore your neighbourhood… go for a walk and check out the area where you live. Don’t forget to take the dog with you!
  • Take a walk together and watch the sunrise or sunset at the park or the beach.
  • Get some friends around for a barbeque and some backyard ball games… pick the dog on your team for that extra fielding expertise.

Remember to be SunSmart and wear a wide brimmed hat, sunscreen, protective clothing and sunglasses!

Why be active

Did you know? Adults should be active for at least 30 minutes on most (preferably all) days of the week. You can accumulate your 30 minutes (or more) throughout the day by combining a few shorter sessions of activity of around 10 to 15 minutes each. There are many benefits to being active and spending less time sitting – giving us even more reason to get out and move more over the holidays!

  • Helps prevent unhealthy weight gain and assists with weight loss.
  • Builds strong bones and muscles.
  • Creates opportunities for meeting new people and socialising.
  • Helps you develop and maintain overall physical and mental well-being.
  • Gives you that very important opportunity to spend time with family and friends!

Holiday activities you can enjoy with your children?

If you have children 5 – 12 years, here’s some things you can do to be active together:

  • Play hide and seek at home or in the garden.
  • Make a cubby… in a tree or with some furniture.
  • Set up a wading pool in the backyard and paddle.
  • Play ‘chase the shadow’ or ‘peek-a-boo’ together.
  • Get the ball out and play in the backyard, at the park or the beach.
  • Play under the sprinkler.
  • Make a kite together… then go fly it.
  • Learn to swim.
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Encourage imagination and invent new games to play in the backyard or at the park.

Benefits of physical activity for children aged 5 – 12 years

Did you know? Children need at least 60 minutes and up to several hours of physical activity every day. Like adults, this is best accumulated throughout the day as part of active play, recreation, sport and even travel and transport (eg riding bikes and walking to and from school). Ideally, children should spend no more than two hours a day in front of a screen. This includes TV, video games, movies and computers. Below are some of the benefits of being active for children:

  • Improves physical fitness, balance, movement and co-ordination skills.
  • Builds strong bones and muscles.
  • Supports brain development.
  • Encourages self-confidence and independence.
  • Develops skills such as co-operation and team work.
  • Improves concentration.
  • Reduces the risk of unhealthy weight gain.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and be active… and enjoy being healthy!

Author

Ms Patria Gough, MBA, Social Marketing and Health Communications Consultant

Disclaimer

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and should be used as a guide only. This information does not replace or substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before any action is taken based on the content of this webpage.

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