Childhood Obesity Exercise

Exercise: How do kids get it?

childhood obesity exerciseTo change your child's exercise and eating habits means to change your own as well. Children imitate adults and also, you're in charge of what your child eats at home and how much exercise he/she gets. Plus, you're a role model. If you exercise and eat healthy, your child will see that and follow suit. Therefore as a parent or caregiver, be a positive role model by adding exercise to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you.

Exercise depends according to your child's age. If they’re too young, you don't need to set him up on a prearranged routine. Simply FUN is enough for you to start. Take them to the park or the zoo, play ball in the back yard, walk the dog. Create a habit to take a walk before dinner or do some other activity that doesn't occupy sitting around watching TV. Find out about any sports your child is interested in and encourage them to participate.

Parents also talk to the doctor about what they can do about their child's health as well as educate themselves about healthy eating and exercise (the library is a great place to start). Use available resources. Your community may have parks, trails, wildlife areas, playgrounds, pools and more that can offer fun ways to stay active for your kids.

Help your child get more exercise:

childhood obesity preventionStart exercising together. The best way you can ensure that your child gets plenty of aerobic play time is to lead the way. Again, this is a family affair. Become involved in your child’s daily exercise. Be enthusiastic and creative about finding ways to stay active. Play yourself! The example you set is key. Hopscotch and jump rope are great cardiovascular activities. Make sure your child knows that you are exercising, and encourage your child to keep up the habit. Show your child the value of being fit by small things such as parking farther away than necessary and walking to your destination, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

There are many creative ways to stimulate interest in physical activity and make it practical to fulfill the experts’ recommendations. The Mayo Clinic offers these suggestions for keeping your kids interested in exercise:

• Play games your elementary school child loves, like tag, cops and robbers, Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light. If you don't remember the rules for these games, make up your own or walk to your local library and check out a book on games.

• Let your toddlers and preschoolers see how much fun you can have while being active. Don't just run with them. Run like a gorilla. Walk like a spider. Hop like a bunny. Stretch like a cat.

family outing• Plan your family vacations around physical activities—hiking, biking, skiing, snorkeling, swimming, walking the dog, or camping. Take along a ball or Frisbee disc to sneak in some activity at rest stops.

• Make chores a family affair. Who can pull the most weeds out of the vegetable garden? Who can collect the most litter in the neighborhood? Have your kids help shovel the snow off the driveway and use that excess snow to build a huge snow fort.

• Vary the activities. Let each child take a turn choosing the activity of the day or week. Batting cages, bowling and fast-food play areas all count. What matters is that you're doing something active as a family.

child obesity

• Use physical activity to counter something your child doesn’t want to do. For instance, make it the routine that your child can ride a bike for 30 minutes before starting homework after school. Your child will beg for 20 more minutes outside just to put off the homework!

The following guideline is the current exercise and physical activity findings for children and adolescents.

Exercise And Physical Activity Recommendations For Children And Adolescents
preventing child obesity through increased physical activity
Parents should limit sedentary activity and make physical activity and sport a habit of their children. Whatever activities your children become involved in should be appropriate for their ages and development. Make sure children understand basic safety rules. Make sure they have plenty of water to drink to replace fluid lost by sweating. [Read more]

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