Healthy Week 2022 — Unleash the Energy

This year’s Healthy Week is running from 25th-29th April 2022 and invites people all over the world to join a dedicated initiative, focusing on the health and wellbeing of their families and communities.

It’s no secret that children’s health is a huge topic in parenting, and a key factor in assuring the wellbeing of our future society. Yet we still face huge challenges.

What does Healthy Week aim to accomplish?

Most people assume this week has a focus on sport and achieving physical fitness goals. This ABSOLUTELY has a significant role to play, however Healthy Week aims to incorporate all of the following:

  • Individual emotional health — self care for the development of positive mindsets
  • Nutrition and food awareness — what our body needs and how much of it
  • Physical activity and active play — moving our bodies and feeling alive
  • Equity, tolerance, and social development — connectedness and relationship skills
  • Family and community relationships — establishing healthy links between societal groups

These pillars of good health are interconnected, and it’s the balance between all five that we should aim for. No human can achieve perfect health throughout their life, but awareness of what we can do should be actively promoted so that future generations are inspired!

What can we do?

Our healthy attitudes, expressed through daily actions, have a huge effect on how children will decide what’s important. Role models, both in and outside the home, are a form of inspiration, especially those with a range of different approaches to draw on.

For example, a family friend who enjoys salsa dancing in the community instead of swimming alone showcases a different approach to fitness. Or a person who enjoys vegetarian cooking offers a different idea of a balanced meal to a person who eats meat.

This is where true motivation to participate and succeed is created and supported.

Before considering what the best route to take in your participation in Healthy Week 2022, answer the following questions:

  • Reflect and recognize your own healthy attitudes. Where are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you display these in your everyday life?
  • What would you like to change? What is feasible for you to change about your healthy attitudes… for example, what practical steps do you need to take and in how much time?
  • What do you need support with and where can you get that from?
  • What are your end goals? How will you know you have achieved them?

Being clear with your own ideas will make it much easier when introducing these to your family. Start by involving them, and getting some feedback!

WARNING: Children are incredibly honest… you may be surprised by what they say or what they recall as relevant to the topic. This can also provide some interesting feedback!

For parents, external help can be a huge relief… the pressure shouldn’t be solely on you! Other caregivers, whether that be Kita staff, grandparents, other family members, or good friends in your local community, can play key roles.

Involve other people in your personal network by talking openly and honestly about healthy lifestyles. Share your reflections, and be explicit about how people can volunteer!

Then what?

Decide the next steps for yourself and your family! This is the fun part.

Here are some creative tips to help you kick-start your healthy habits:

  • Give your dinner routine a twist by imposing fun rules. For example, all ingredients must be red, only four sprinkles of salt are allowed in the whole meal, or there must be a minimum of five vegetables on the table.
  • Moving your body doesn’t necessarily mean sports. Encourage 30 minutes of dancing or stretching as soon as you finish work to get the blood flowing. This is a great success in the Kita after lunch, and our group enjoys the wide array of music we boogie to!
  • Find new outdoor activities in your area. Try a new sport such as canoeing, bouldering, or paddle boarding and make it a fun-filled weekend activity.
  • Youtube videos provide a wealth of information to suit all levels of capability. Try to build in 20 minutes a day for Healthy Week. This can range from a TED talk on emotional egos to a fun karate session.
  • Be explicit about what you do to be healthy. Adults often have set routines of fitness and diet that are unspoken to children. Take some time to explain your morning smoothie or your interval training to your child, especially if they’re younger. My niece still remembers beans as go-faster-buttons, which I told her when she was only four!
  • Get involved with other parents or friends who wish to make a healthy change and provide mutual encouragement. The main aim of this week is to throw light on the subject of all areas of wellbeing and to challenge your perceptions. Don’t be afraid to engage with your own negative thoughts and to ask yourself why you have this mindset.

We at the AMBOSS Kita wish you the best of luck for Healthy Week 2022 and look forward to hearing what action you took! If you’d like any guidance or advice from your Kita team, please get in touch and we’ll be delighted to help!

— Written by Suzanne Uprichard

Useful links for further reading:

https://www.actionforhealthykids.org/game-on-activity-library/

https://kidshealth.org/

https://www.healthforkids.co.uk/

http://www.nourishinteractive.com/healthy-living/healthy-family-nutrition-websites-links

https://kidshealthfirst.ca/pages/parents-and-caregivers

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