Healthy Healing 4 You

Oct 27, 2011

How to Prepare Your Children for Winter Activities


A lot of Canadian parents are probably already in the full swing of running their kids to and from the ice rink for evaluations and practices and wondering where has the summer gone. Well I hope that your kids were able to make an easy transition to the fitness required for hockey, ringette or any other winter activity they are signed up for. It is important that kids and adults alike stay physically active year round for good cardio, respiratory and muscle function. The benefits of being active year round keeps a person prepared for an athletic event that requires higher levels of effort, but also helps in keeping a better mental state and a sharper mind.

During the school year children get recess and gym at school and if they are active during these times it is easy for them to get the ideal amounts of exercise. During the summer if there is no involvement in a sport with multiple practices and/or games per week, then there is a need of active exercise time. Doing something like playing catch while being enjoyable is not a high enough activity level. Without regular exercise to challenge the muscles of the body including the heart and lungs, transition is longer to achieve ‘game shape’ for winter sports.

 Luckily we living in a region like Ottawa there are multiple possibilities to get some enjoyable exercise.  Some activities can be done as a family so have the added benefit of creating stronger family bonds. In the summer on Sunday mornings, families can cycle, run or rollerblade on the parkways without worrying about cars, which has been a mainstay in the National Capital Region since 1970.  Rollerblading, biking and cross country skiing are great family activities and there are lots of paths and trails around Blackburn. The Gatineau Park provides a great place for exercising with hiking, biking, paddling or skiing all being great ways to maintain fitness.

If the fitness level has been low for a while gradually build up the exercising level. This can be through bike riding or slow runs of 30-50 minutes and longer when their fitness improves. Depending when activities are the caloric intake for proper nourishment is about 10-30% protein, 40-65% carbohydrates and 20-30% fats. To give you an idea this translates to 0.45grams per pound of body weight for 7-14 year olds (1). Plenty of sleep is needed pre and post exercise to improve performance and muscle recovery.

There many possibilities for great exercise and with many reasons why it is important to maintain fitness, I encourage you to make sure your family gets regular exercise through all seasons.

Live the adventure of life,

Mark Sweazey D.C.

(1)   http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/consumer/archives/proteinchildren.htm

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