27/06/2018 10:09 BST

Is Your Child A Star Wars Fan? Training Like A Jedi Could Help Them Embrace Exercise

Better yet, it's completely free.

If you’re struggling to motivate your children to get active, have you thought of introducing a different type of workout? Mark Hamill, the actor who plays Luke Skywalker in ‘Star Wars’, is encouraging youngsters to get involved with a Jedi training programme as part of efforts to combat childhood obesity.

Hamill is supporting Public Health England’s (PHE) latest Change4Life initiative alongside Disney UK – Train Like a Jedi. The programme is led by British Taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones and involves a video with “Jedi-inspired moves” to get children excited about exercise.

Speaking about the launch, Hamill said: “If you want to become a Jedi like Luke Skywalker or Rey, then you need to be fit, healthy and strong. This summer Change4Life can help you Train Like A Jedi. May the Force be with you.” 

Matt Crossick/PA
British Taekwondo double Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones on set filming for the new Change4Life national Train Like A Jedi programme.

PHE said that children’s activity levels are “alarmingly low” – only 23% of boys and 20% of girls aged five to 15 get the required 60 minutes physical activity a day. It said that the new training programme has been designed to make physical activity fun and inspire children to move more.

Double Olympic gold medallist Jones, who is featured in the video along with Star Wars character BB-8, added: “Inspiring kids to get active is something I’m really passionate about, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to help kids across the country with Change4Life and Star Wars.

“It was great fun to create the Jedi-inspired moves which can be done anytime and anywhere – both at school and home. I hope that through this new programme we can inspire a new generation to move more by showing kids that physical activity can be really fun.” 

Matt Crossick/PA

Eustace de Sousa, national lead for children at PHE, said: “Children’s physical activity levels are alarmingly low and are having a major impact on their physical and mental health – both now and into adulthood.

“Getting into the habit of being regularly active will have lifelong benefits. Our Change4Life Train Like A Jedi programme is a great way for children, their friends and the whole family to get moving throughout the summer.”

Change4Life will provide schools with teaching resources linked to the training programme, which is supported by Sport England. The video is also available on the Change4Life website for kids to do at home.

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