Angela and Brian Stich had been taxiing their children, Brianna, 12, and Bradley, 11, to tae kwon do at the Simmons YMCA for six months when they finally decided to get in on the action.
"We saw how much fun the kids were having and how they were progressing and gaining confidence," says Angela Stich. "We thought this would be good for all of us."
Stich says engaging in physical activity as a family has improved their health, but it has the added benefit of making them closer. "Before tae kwon do, my son and I didn't have much in common." Now the mom is learning proper form from her son. "We're staying connected as a family. We're also doing healthy things together, versus pizza-and-movie nights."
Healthy Habits and Benefits
Sue Dissinger, a local health expert, oversees the wellness programs for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte and says physical activity, for the sake of movement, enjoyment and interaction, boosts self-esteem in children and adults, strengthens the parent-child bond and establishes healthy habits for years to come. Families that make play a priority also benefit from improved sleep, better concentration and increased endurance.