Now that school is back in session, how do we keep our kids active? Did you know that one out of three kids between the ages of 2–19 are considered overweight or obese? We’ve been warned about this for years and it’s frightening to watch this trend continue, so what can you do to keep your child active and not a statistic?
During school kids are spending a majority of their day sitting in class, after school many of them head home do homework, have a snack and watch TV, play video games or get on the computer. Technology has kept our kids indoors far too long; it’s time to get them outside and moving again. As parents it’s our responsibility to teach our kids to be healthy.
If we want the best for our kids it’s important to keep their minds sharp and their bodies healthy and strong, and physical activity is a great way to do that. It’s recommended that kids over the age of two get 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day.
As parents we lead by example, we should be eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise. Statistics show that if children are born to obese parents chances increase that they too will become obese.
Ideas to keeping them active:
- Get them involved in an after school sport if they are interested, but limit it to only one sport per season so they don’t get burnt out and end up with overuse injuries. It’ll keep them interested and excited to go back.
- If your kids aren’t interested in any sport, be sure to have a set time in the evening and weekends where as a family you go out for a bike ride, a walk after dinner, maybe hiking on the weekend.
- Make a game of it, when you are out walking, race them from one house to the next or to a street sign, smaller kids why not skip along with them or play tag or just take them to a park where they can run and jump.
- Make the activity age appropriate even if it’s just doing chores around the house, have them help you rake leaves or pull weeds, give them a bucket and see who can pull the most weeds the fastest, even just picking up toys in record time.
- Encourage your kids to take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further from the entrance, spend that time talking and connecting with them.
- Do an exercise video with them it’s amazing what a two year old will do.
- Be sure to limit the amount of time they watch TV, play on computers and video games.
- Just keep it fun, give them a day they can choose an activity and have everyone participate, if they see you having fun they will have fun.
Benefits for active kids include:
- Having stronger bones and muscles
- Keeps them lean and less likely to increase their fat cells thus less likely to become overweight
- Less risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes
- Mental focus and clarity for school work
- Better sleeping habits
- More confidence and a positive outlook on life
- Stronger immune system which leads to less sick days
Be sure to get an annual physical and have their hearts checked, although rare, kids have succumbed to cardiac death during physical activity because of undetected heart defects.
Remember fitness can be fun, don’t make it something they dread doing. If you are setting good examples they will follow. Enjoy family fitness together and see the benefits and enjoy the wonderful quality of life it brings. With regular daily exercise kids are better able to handle the daily physical and emotional stresses of school and home.
Get Fit & Never Quit!!
Her Strength Fitness