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National health club releases free guide for busy parents to keeping kids healthy

Children in South Africa are at an all-time low in terms of physical exercise and general wellness due to busy parents Picture: Supplied

Children in South Africa are at an all-time low in terms of physical exercise and general wellness due to busy parents Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 30, 2022

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Children in South Africa are at an all-time low in terms of physical exercise and general wellness due to busy parents who struggle to combine the demands of their job lives with caring for their children.

It's negatively affecting their health and wellbeing. To counteract this, national health club Virgin Active has created a first-of-its-kind, free-to-download eBook that provides parents and caregivers with 15 simplified chapters with the essential information they need to support their children's development in terms of exercise, fitness, health, and wellbeing.

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Titled “Kids are here to move: A holistic development & wellness guide for busy families”, the simple guide was created in collaboration with nine experts from the fitness stable, including doctors, nutritionists, and Kinderkineticists, in the fields of health, fitness, and wellbeing.

It contains 15 chapters, each with research-based insights for children aged 18 months to 13 years, and can be easily read in 15 minutes, allowing busy parents to know exactly what to do to keep their children happily active.

Obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It's especially concerning because excess weight frequently sets children on the path to health problems that were once thought to be adult issues — diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Obesity in childhood can also lead to low self-esteem and depression.

When these factors are combined with the pandemic's effects, an alarming number of South African children are less physically active, spend more time in front of screens, and eat fewer nutritious meals than ever before - with potentially long-term negative health consequences.

In addition to informing parents about the developmental advantages of encouraging an active lifestyle for kids from a young age, the free 90+ page eBook also offers exercise and activity guides, nutritional information and quick hacks for healthy eating, as well as meditation and relaxation tips so that they are empowered to start a fun and sustainable health and wellness journey with their families.

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“An active kid is a happy kid, whether they move, jump, bounce, laugh, or learn new things through activities and play”, says Catherine Coupar, National Junior Member Manager, Virgin Active South Africa.

“Not only does physical activity have a host of health and wellness benefits for kids, but more importantly, active kids are also more likely to become active adults.

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An active kid is a happy kid, whether they move, jump, bounce, laugh, or learn new things through activities and play - Catherine Coupar. Image from freepik

“Our philosophy is simple: getting kids moving when they’re young and instilling healthy habits is the springboard for a lifelong journey of wellness.

“That’s why we have developed this concise guide that is a quick dip-in, dip-out resource for hard-working parents and busy kids, designed to bring the two together for fun activities that can be explored in 15 minutes that will hopefully set the base for a mentally and physically healthy life” asserts Coupar.

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