Get Active - Youth

At WorkDaily physical activity is vital for optimal growth of children and youth. We have a number of young people today experiencing chronic health issues because they are not physically active enough. Bone development, muscle strength and heart health are compromised when people do not get their daily physical activity requirement.    However, ensuring a teenager gets their daily requirement of daily physical activity can be exhausting.

I am hopeful that it will help parents promote daily physical activity if they can see what physical activity means from a teenager's perspective.  With this thought in mind I asked my teenage son to write about what it's like for him to be the son of the Get Active Mississauga Coordinator. Here are my son's thoughts:

My mother is the Get Active Mississauga Coordinator. And it sucks! Sure it puts food on the table and in the fridge, but I don't like it one bit. I never get to sit in front of the TV or computer for more than an hour, without being told "why aren't you outside and playing" or "what physical activity did you do to deserve to watch that." She always comes at the worst times and makes me go and be physically active. Every time I'm watching CSI Miami and they are just about to find out who the criminal is, she comes and tells me to turn off the TV and go and play. It is a pain in the butt. 
The more I think about it the more I appreciate what she does. Every time I go and play hockey outside I get a little bit better at my shot and every time I play basketball I get a little bit better at my aim, but I'm still horrible at basketball.

Every time I go outside and do something active I have fun. And most importantly I extend my life just a little bit more. So as much as I hate missing the end of CSI Miami, I will go outside and play with my friends.
Currently I am a student at St. Aloysius Gonzaga CSS. I live about a forty minute walk away from Gonzaga or 3.2 km away just within the boundaries of the school and guess what? Lucky for me, I have the Get Active Mississauga Coordinator for a mom, and she makes me walk everyday unless it is raining a lot and even then sometimes I have to walk anyways. I don't like to walk, but it gives me a chance to catch up with friends and have some laughs. And lately I have gotten a lot faster when skating. This has greatly improved my hockey skills. I'm slowly getting more physically fit and it's taking less and less time for me to get to and from school. I really don't like my mom's job but it helps me in little ways that I will be forever grateful. Well not now at least, but later on I will be very grateful for the thing she did.
By S. Callaghan      

Epilogue- By Brenda Callaghan
It seems all teenagers have a job. They must complain and they must make things difficult for parents. However, it seems that they are listening to the messages we send, they do pay attention to what we role model and what we "preach".  Deep down in some hidden place they know that we are trying to do what's best for them, trying to help and when we are very lucky, they can see what we are trying to do.   

It's important that we role model daily physical activity for our children. We need to walk to the store, to school and to work when we can. We need to let them walk/bike rollerblade or skateboard to school whenever they can. We need to make them turn off all screens and get some sort of activity—shooting hoops, throwing a ball, walking to their friend's house.
Expect the complaints, the arguments and in that one begrudging acknowledgement ("but later on I will be very grateful for the thing she did") know that there is hope, we have done our job and laid the ground work for the road they will travel.

Push Play Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
For youth: 12 - 17 years
Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines
For youth: 12 - 17 years
Try It! Skateboarding and Mountain Biking are great forms of physical activity. Check out what Mississauga has to offer! Adult Youth need to be active to ensure a healthy adult life. This web site can help you get your teen moving.
Walking Book Heart and Stroke recommendations for youth and physical activity Walking Book How to support your teen and get them moving
Walking Book This is a great site for parents. Forward this info to your teen. Walking Book What if my child doesn't like sports? What do I do to encourage physical activity? Check out this site to learn more.
Push Play Mississauga Youth Games (MY Games)
Every year young people from across the city of Mississauga compete in this free, Olympic inspired event.