The first thing that comes to mind when considering family day activities is physiotherapy, right?
Obviously not. In fact, it’s usually the contrary for long weekends at this time of the year, with many households opting for a Netflix and chill marathon. But therein lies the problem.
Studies show that fewer than 10 percent of Canadian children meet the current guideline of 60-minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day. And guess what? We can’t blame them for this. Parents absolutely influence their children’s physical activity by serving as a role model, and this can go either way. When you consider the fact that only 15% of adults meet the current guideline of 150 minutes of MVPA per week and that adults with children are less active than those without children, you can see the cause for concern.
Please excuse the blunt statement, but if you truly care about your child’s physical well being, you will get off of the sofa and set a prime example for them. And what better time to make this a part of your routine, than Family Day long weekend here in BC? As Burnaby and Coquitlam’s favorite family physiotherapy clinic, we hope to inspire you to get out there and be active with your kids with some ideas on where to get started.
5 Activities to Improve Your Household’s Physical Fitness for BC Family Day Long Weekend, and Beyond
1. Take a Hike
Hiking together as a family is not only fun, it comes with numerous physical benefits. Hiking can improve core fitness, boosts bone density, builds muscle, and can improve cardio-respiratory fitness, which can effectively reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other ailments often correlated to a lack of physical activity.
There are some adventurous yet family-friendly winter hikes around Greater Vancouver, including Kennedy Falls Trail, Dog Mountain Trail, and Lighthouse Park Trail. If you don’t want to venture too far from Burnaby, you and the crew can hit Burnaby Mountain which has several beginner-intermediate trails that are popular with local hikers.
2. Head for the Hills
We’re still in the thick of ski season here in Greater Vancouver, and with some pretty great hills found a quick drive (and/or gondola ride) from Burnaby, the powder is your oyster. Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and Mount Seymour are all within reasonable proximity.
Skiing and snowboarding can have an amazing impact on your household’s physical fitness. With proper warm-up, form (on the hill), and cool down, everyone in your lot can enhance balance, coordination, flexibility, muscle growth, and all around core fitness.
3. See the Sea
It’s too cold for an itinerary of physical fitness at the beach here in February. However, your family can still get a full day of seaside activity without feeling as if you’ve worked to strengthen your collective bones and muscles while improving balance and coordination. Gather up the kids and head for the famous Stanley Park seawall this long weekend. The full walk is approximately 9 km, and will take up to three hours (walking with small kids) but can be done in one hour on bicycles. That being said, we recommend leaving room for much more, so you and the kids can hop down during low tide to hunt for sea glass, turn over rocks to look for crabs, and skip rocks (good for shoulder strength!) into the great blue yonder.
4. Indoor Rock Climbing
If the local weather doesn’t cooperate you can always seek out a unique activity indoors. And no, a trip to the shopping mall doesn’t count. Instead, try something you’ve never done before, such as indoor rock climbing.
Rock climbing builds muscle and endurance. Direct focus is on the latissimus dorsi, biceps brachia, forearm flexors, and the gastrocnemius and soleus, but the activity absolutely works the entire body while calling upon cognitive abilities too. More importantly – it’s FUN for the whole family.
There are indoor rock climbing facilities near burnaby which can be uncovered with a quick online search.
5. Start a Weekly Family Competition
Let the long weekend serve as the genesis of your family’s inaugural athletic competition. Pick sports (based on preferences, season, etc.), make teams (moms vs dads, kids vs parents, etc.), and get started on a weekly event schedule. Keep scores, set awards (i.e. not having to do household chores) and even make a trophy to pass back and forth for bragging rights as the weeks, months, and years progress. A family that plays together stays together and will have a happier and healthier life to boot.
We suggest one more activity to round off BC Family Day long weekend – pick up the phone and call 604.558.2273 or complete this form to schedule a family consultation with Absolute PhysioCare. The benefits of regular physiotherapy for kids are numerous, and you’ll find that one of the best family decisions you can make is to make physiotherapy a part of your household’s regular health and wellness routine.