Childhood Obesity Physical Activity

Active Healthy Living: Prevention of child obesity through increased physical activity.

Physical activity should be a usual part of a your child’s day just like eating and sleeping. Encourage children to enjoy physical activity that burns calories to keep balance between energy out and energy in. It is recommended that children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week, preferably daily and at least 30 minutes for adults. Some examples of moderate intensity physical activity include:
childhood obesity prevention• Brisk walking
• Riding a bicycle
• Skating
• Playing tag
• Jumping rope
• Running games
• Swimming
• Dancing etc.
The most effective activities raise the heart rate moderately and cause mild sweating; the child should not become exhausted, overheated, or severely short of breath.

It’s obvious that children imitate adults. Therefore as a parent or caregiver, be a positive role model by adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you. Here are some ways that parents can establish a lifetime of healthy habits for their family:

Help create an active (healthy-weight) environment:

childhood obesity physical activityBe a role model. Most essential step towards creating healthy environment in your family is being yourself as a role model of healthy living through your diet and exercise regimens, and encourage your children to participate in sports and other physical activities. If children see you being active and having fun, they are more likely to learn to be active and stay active into adulthood.
Parents should work towards healthy habits and active environment for a healthy family. For example:

Build physical activity into the daily routine into your child’s day.

• Keep your kids Physically active every day in as many ways as they can. It is recommended that School aged children should involve in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week, preferably daily. There are additional benefits in more vigorous activity for the prevention of child obesity, for weight loss, or for sustaining weight loss.

preventing child obesity with increased physical activity • Promote family activities that supply everyone with exercise and enjoyment. Make sure of a safe environment for children and their friends to take part in active play, encourage swimming, biking, skating, ball sports, and other fun activities.

• Make time for the whole family to participate in family-outings such as walking to the library or taking a family bike or hiking or ski trip. Allocate active tasks for every family member such as vacuuming, washing the car or mowing the lawn or walking the dog. Alternate the schedule of tasks to avoid boredom from routine. But don't force children to take part in activities they find impersonal or embarrassing.

childhood obesity physical activity

• Support your child to participate in school or community sports. Enroll your child in a structured activity that they enjoy, such as gymnastics, basketballs, soccer, tennis, martial arts, etc. Introduce an interest in your child to try a new sport by joining a team at school or in your community. Parents can start an active neighborhood program. Join together with other families for group activities like touch-football, basketball, tag or hide-and-seek.

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]

Limit TV and other screen time to reduce sedentary time

• The single best thing you can do as a parent or caregiver is limit the amount of time your child spends watching TV, DVDs, sitting at the computer, surfing web or playing video games. These activities burn few calories and encourage snacking.

• Put sound rules for TV and computer time, like one to two hours a day for each family member. Also, Keep TVs and computers out of the bedrooms, and discourage eating in front of the TV or computer.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend television viewing for children age 2 or younger.

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