Editorial: Stay active and bring children with you
For anyone who strolls along the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach at dawn, the number of people out walking, running and riding bicycles is always surprising.
Dozens of families head to the beach, toddlers in tow, to watch the sun rise above the horizon. The sense of amazement this daily event brings is shared by literally hundreds of people who pause to take photos, share the moment with their children or friends, or simply watch as the sky brightens.
Two ideas emerge as people enjoy this quiet morning ritual. One is that a segment of the population is heeding the message that we all need to be active to stay healthy.
People of all ages are on the move, some in strollers, others using walkers and even in wheelchairs.
Some are running or sprinting, but many others are simply moving and staying active as they watch the sun come up.
While it appears more people are exercising, the National Center for Health Statistics in 2017 reported nearly 19 percent of American youth and 40 percent of American adults are obese, the highest rate the nation has ever seen for adults. That makes it even more critical that everyone find a way to stay active, to exercise and share healthy activities with our children. Not only will we all feel better, but it’s the only way to stem increasing healthcare costs.
The second idea that emerges as families together watch the sunrise is the importance of sharing with children the wonder of the natural world.
Today’s children have less time than perhaps any earlier generation to explore and enjoy the outdoors on their own, as part of their everyday experience. That makes it even more critical for families to get outside and share the wonder of the natural world.
While the Boardwalk promotes activity, Rehoboth’s beaches offer a world of opportunity for children to connect with nature and take the critical first steps toward becoming citizens who protect and preserve the environment we all inhabit.