Creating Positive Experiences, Keeping it FUN!
Find the JOY in the JOURNEY. You’ve probably heard something similar to this pertaining to life, generally speaking, but maybe you haven’t thought about it as it relates to physical activity. Most of you have heard by now that in order to live a healthy, long life with a lowered risk of chronic disease and more independent years later in life, that you need to engage in regular physical activity – but this doesn’t mean you have to head to the gym and run on the treadmill or use weight machines to achieve these benefits (although there is nothing wrong with this if it’s what you enjoy!).
Staying active can look very different to different people… the key is to find something that you enjoy, as you are more likely to continue to participate in something that is fun. For children, it is important to be aware that physical activity experiences can be a deciding factor in whether they continue to engage in physical activity throughout their lives or not. Negative experiences can be in the form of negative comments from a coach or peer, feeling unsafe, or simply being underdressed for outdoor winter play. As adults, we play a big role in helping to shape children’s physical activity experiences – whether you are a volunteer coach, a teacher, a parent or grandparent or a caregiver, remember to keep it fun and that encouraging words can go a long way in the life of a child. Positive physical activity experiences build confidence and self-esteem in both children and adults – and having fun is important at any age!
Tara Chisholm is the Wellness Programmer for the Medicine Hat College Be Fit For Life Centre.