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27 Jan, Friday
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Montreal Families

Kids need to get moving!

It’s back-to-school season, which is also the period of time parents decide on extracurricular activities for the fall session. Will it be swimming lessons? Hockey? Cooking classes? The possibilities are endless and our Courses and Programs section of our website is filled with information about various activities.

But, in addition to a Glee club or dance class, try to make sure your kids have some free time so they can get outside and run around. Canadian children are not nearly as active as they should be and parents are largely responsible, according to ParticipACTION, a prominent national health organization.

The results from the organization’s annual Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth are terrible; only nine per cent of 5- to 17-year-olds in Canada get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day.

At least part of the reason is what the organization refers to as “the protection paradox.” Parents want to protect their children from the perceived dangers of the outside world, but keeping them inside is also risky. Sedentary behaviour and inactivity elevate the odds of developing chronic diseases, including heart disease, type-2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and mental health problems.

The organization suggests that parents start to loosen the reins. Kids will be more active (play at a higher intensity and burn more calories) when they’re outside and have the freedom to roam unsupervised and take risks. Yes, your kid may get injured, but the report says most injuries are relatively minor – major trauma is rare. And ‘stranger danger’ isn’t as big a problem as you think – according to the RCMP, the odds of a child being abducted by a total stranger are about one in 14 million.

Throughout the Courses & Programs section of our website, we’ve included plenty of articles and local information to help make sure your kids get healthy amounts of exercise and other activities that will help them hone their artistic skills. We hope that whatever you decide, it will involve physical activity for your kids. Let’s all strive to improve our grades on the next ParticipACTION report card! 

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