Family Health & Fitness Day 2020

The National Recreation and Parks Association has designated the second Saturday of June (this year, June 13) as Family Health & Fitness Day. They want to highlight how local parks can play an important role in the health and fitness of communities. Their goal this year is to have recreation and parks departments across the country participate in “sharing ways families can get active while practicing safe physical distancing.” (You can see their website for more specific information.)

According to a 2019 systematic review, the strongest determinants of physical activity in early childhood are the environment (access to parks and open spaces for play and exploration) and the adoption of an active lifestyle by the family, particularly the mother. Other studies show increasing the physical activity levels of fathers has been found to increase the physical activity levels of girls while also improving their fundamental movement skill proficiency (kicking, catching, throwing, hopping, skipping). Parents model behavior for their children. If the family culture includes physical activity, children get the impression early on that physical activity is fun and an important part of life. It is also a great way for families to bond.