Majority of parents want their children to be active

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A new survey of city parents revealed that 83 per cent of mums and dads would encourage their child to be physically active if they too could take part in the session.

The poll commissioned by Water Babies also revealed that 73 per cent encourage their children to get active as a result of their own childhood experience, suggesting that parental influence is key to getting our children moving.

And 90 per cent of those polled believe it to be the parents’ responsibility to teach children about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, compared to only 10 per cent who believe it falls to PE teachers.

Tamsin Brewis, of Water Babies Milton Keynes, said: “With the recent Government guidelines highlighting the need for young children to be active a minimum of three hours per day, it’s encouraging that so many parents are on-board when it comes to getting their children active. This is something that we aim to encourage from birth and offering family friendly sessions is a great way of getting children exercising from a young age.”

However, despite the benefits of getting physically active with their little ones, over a third of those polled said that other commitments often get in the way, highlighting the daily grind of long working hours and daily chores as the main barriers. A further ten per cent said that their personal fitness levels prevented them from taking part in activities with their children.

Tamsin added: “Taking part in gentle exercise together can be a great way of boosting your own fitness levels gradually as well as introducing your child to the benefits of an active lifestyle from a young age. If you want to get them started early, a baby swimming class can provide a great workout for both parent and child, while enjoying the water together is fantastic for bonding. Swimming is one of the most complete and beneficial activities, as well as being one of the few things you can do with a baby literally from birth.

“Just half an hour’s swimming will provide you both with a great physical workout, with the benefits lasting far beyond the duration of the class. Due to the lack of gravity in the water, this includes the benefit of exercising muscles neither of you would even find on land. And all that lifting your baby up in the air, swishing them around and moving through the water can burn an impressive 300 calories.”

To find out more about the swimming lessons offered locally please visit www.waterbabies.co.uk