Thursday, July 9, 2009

Getting your children to enjoy walking

Children will enjoy walking as long as it tickles their imagination.
But take heart. An ongoing experiment in the Cumbrian town of Barrow-in-Furness should bring hope to parents who want to win the Battle of the Lazy Kids.
In a pilot funded by the Government and carried out by two charities, teams of workers are trying a raft of tricks this summer to cajole children out of the house and onto their feet. It’s a tall order. But the tone is jolly rather than lecturing, and they succeeds the project may spread nationwide, bringing not just a flush to the cheeks of pallid children – many of whom are worryingly overweight – but a fresh sense of togetherness to many families.
Almost 30 per cent of British children are now classed as overweight or obese, with rising rates of Type 2 diabetes just one of the unpleasant consequences. Around 40 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls come nowhere near the hour-a-day exercise levels recommended by doctors.
That’s why walking is considered so important: because it’s cheap, so anyone can do it; and there’s no easier activity, you just open the door and go. It can be fun, too.

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