Multigenerational Parenting: Staying Active

Did you know that the number of children who are obese has almost tripled since the 1970s? It is more important than ever to get kids moving, but being active may be more challenging than the first time you took care of children.

Still, according to the Centers for Disease Control, people who incorporate physical activity in their daily routine have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Making time for active fun with your grandchild will benefit both of you.

Start Walking

  • Walking with your grandchild (or pushing a stroller) is a great start to being more active. Take a walk around your neighborhood or park, and explore nature with your grandchild. Sharing your knowledge by talking about what you see makes each walk a learning experience.
  • Try walking for at least 30 minutes every day. Ask your grandchild where they would like to walk to.
  • If you are less mobile, give your grandchild “walking tasks” in your house, yard or nearby park. These can include walking to touch a tree, walking to pick up books or other small tasks to get him or her moving.

Gardening

  • Did you know that gardening can improve mood and decrease anxiety? Take in some sun and do some gardening with your grandchild! This productive activity is the perfect opportunity for hands-on learning.
  • Help your grandchild plant their favorite flower — or start an edible garden!
  • Even a little fun with a garden hose or sprinkler is a great way to get moving on a hot summer day. Turn on some tunes and dance in the falling water!

Plan a Beach Day

  • Taking your grandchildren to the beach is a great way to spend an active day. Pack some healthy snacks, a beach umbrella and a few beach toys, such as a ball or toy shovels. Pair up with another adult so you can help each other in watching the children. If you have concerns about safety, plant yourselves near a lifeguard for more peace of mind. Never allow a child to go into the water unattended.
  • Go for a walk next to the shore with your grandchild. Have them pick up their favorite rocks and seashells. Try to walk as close to the water as possible without getting wet!
  • Dig some holes with your grandchild. Can each of you build a sandcastle with wet sand?
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