On your marks and get set: 2012 is shaping up to be a massive year for sport in the UK creating the perfect excuse to get more active as a family. From the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the European Football Championships, tennis at Wimbledon, cycling in the Tour de France and golf at the British Open, such a diverse range of activities has never been so widely showcased.
So, with such a varied mix of sports being put in the spotlight, what better time to introduce children and young people to the idea, and benefits, of getting more active?
Being active as a family can be great fun and will also help to teach younger children how important being active is for staying healthy. By encouraging children to try out new activities they are much more likely to develop a positive attitude towards being physically active and to develop healthy habits that they can continue into adulthood.
It is also a great opportunity to talk about a broad range of associated issues too. For example, training and dedication, muscles and hydration, healthy diets and lifestyle habits, supporting team mates and how practice makes perfect!
Another benefit of having such a huge range of sports on display is that it can help to show older children that there is an almost endless range of options for them to choose from.
It’s important to remember that everyone is different. There are those who thrive on team sports and those who prefer more individual pursuits. What is important for a young person is that they find an active hobby, which they really enjoy and want to continue with.
Schools are naturally limited when it comes to sports – both in terms of the time they have available for lessons and the range of activities they can offer. So again it’s a great opportunity to show children that there are other options, far and beyond those they may come across at school (and which they may not like!). It can help break down any barriers that may have been created there by opening their eyes to other options.
The Olympics and Paralympic Games are particularly good for this as they will showcase many sports that children may not otherwise encounter – everything from fencing and rowing, to volleyball, BMX, archery, canoeing, table tennis, show jumping and athletics.
So in this year of sport, make the most of it by encouraging your family to get more active and who knows, you may even find a sporting talent of the future is hiding under your own roof!
Guest blog from Personal Trainer Amy Marlow - @ELFfitness