Encourage a Love of FitnessIN CHILDREN'S HEALTH
As awareness rises about the childhood obesity epidemic in America, more parents are becoming concerned about their children’s health and activity levels. However, many parents struggle with finding ways to get their child excited about exercise. Never fear—we have some great suggestions to help get your child up and moving.
Encouraging Fitness for Life
The current generation of children is bombarded with electronic entertainment. With more enticing opportunities to sit and stare at a screen, the less tempted and motivated kids are to run around and play. Children who don’t participate in regular physical activity are more likely to become inactive adults, according to the American Heart Association. This increases risks for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity.
Help protect your child against these life-altering conditions by encouraging them to become more fit and active.
- Limit the time your child spends watching television, playing video games and using the computer.
- Sign your child up for a seasonal sport. But remember, competitive sports are not for everyone. Allow your child to try it for a season; if he or she does not like it do not force your child to play. Instead, explore other active avenues such as dance, biking, or yoga.
- Set a good example as a parent and be physically active. Exercising with your child can build family bonding and keep everyone accountable. Activities can range from a brisk walk around the neighborhood, hiking, swimming, biking or a game of touch football in the backyard.
- Talk with your child about the long-term effects of inactivity. Explain that by becoming physically active now, it will be easier for him or her to continue regular exercise as he or she grows older.
| Watch the Sweet Treats
Inactivity isn’t the only culprit behind the childhood obesity epidemic. Diet and poor nutritional choices play a huge role—and the holidays are filled with yummy temptations. From classroom parties to family potlucks, kids are faced with sugary goodies wherever they turn. Not only do these sweet treats contribute to your child’s hyperactivity, they also contribute to their waistline and their risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
Help decrease your child’s sugar-laden intake by:
Sources: lhsfna.org, nlm.nih.gov, kidshealth.org, getkidsinaction.org.
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