A four-year-old boy holds her grandmother’s hands and they dance together at a family reunion.
A group of seniors, teenagers and adults practice tai chi together at a community church.
A whole family including parents, children and grandparents – participate in an event at the local park.
These are just a few examples where different generations participate in activities together, also commonly known as intergenerational physical activity.
Intergenerational physical activity is not limited to just exercising but it includes activities for seniors and other programs that aims to bring people of different ages together in an eloquent way. Few common examples of such activities are:
A father and son taking some time out to play catch.
Seniors and teenagers working together to pot some plants in the backyard
Youth offering their services at the elderly’s games event.
Children, adults and youths attending martial art lessons where candidates are grouped according to their skills, not by their age.
Seniors walking their grandchildren to school bus
Grandchildren and grandparents celebrating their birthdays together and enjoy a ride to the park.
When people of different age groups participate in any activity together, they share experiences, help one another and learn about each other. Any type of physical activity that is co-operative, fun and with a specific purpose can greatly help to build a strong bond between grandparents, children and parents in a number of different ways:
Different age-group people learn many new things from each other. Young people or teenagers learn a lot of real-life things from the experience of seniors. Adults and the elderly stay updated on the current activities and interests of younger generation.
Myths and stereotypes between generations are reduced. Children, adults, youth and seniors are exposed to a variety of interests, physical abilities, attitudes and experiences. Everyone can appreciate the value of unity in diversity.
Different generations get closer with one another and feel more confident in their company. Socializing through different physical activities can encourage people from different ages to find things that are common with each other.
Physical activities that solely focus on sharing knowledge and being co-operative can help feel people of different age groups that their knowledge is valued, that they have something valuable to contribute to other generations and also to their community and that they are helping each other. For instance:
An elderly acts as a guide while walking and answering questions about the flora and fauna life along the trail.
Youth providing their services to seniors and helping them with their morning exercise program.
Ideas on How to Bring Different Generations Together
Here are some ideas on how you can also bring different generations of people together and participate in intergenerational physical activity.
Invite your grandparents and their friends to join a tai chi or yoga class with you. You can start herb gardening in your backyard and make it a point that your whole family participates in planting and harvesting the plants and herbs.
Play multi-player Nintendo Wii games like tennis or virtual bowling with your grandchildren and children.
Check with your local retirement residence, school, community center or recreation association if they have any programs offering activities for participants of different age groups. If they don’t have any, provide them a list of all the benefits of intergenerational physical activity.