Kids and Fitness: How to Avoid Childhood Obesity

If you are a parent of a child or many children there is a very good chance you have wondered about whether your kids are getting enough exercise. Sometimes Kids and Fitness simply don’t go together easily, right? With all of the distractions in kids’ lives like school, the Internet, video games and television, it is no wonder parents are seriously concerned about the level of physical activity and exercise their children are experiencing. There are many benefits of exercise in kids and the importance of activity in their daily lives plays a huge role in their long term health. Getting kids active and planning fun activities is a great way to start but there are other important reasons why exercise in kids is so very important.

KIDS AND FITNESS | THE IMPORTANCE OF ACTIVITY IN KIDS

Exercise not only strengthens our muscles but it plays a big part in supporting immune system functions which is very important for younger school age children. With all of the illnesses and viruses they are exposed to on a daily basis at school, doing anything and everything to help build up their immunity is of utmost importance. It is well documented by doctors across the globe that the secret to a healthy body is good nutrition and exercise and that secret is not just for adults. By pushing your child to stop watching television and to go outside and play for an hour or two every day, you are not only supporting his/her long term physical health but it will also help make them feel better about themselves emotionally and socially by interacting with other children (as opposed to interacting with their ‘video game’ characters which does very little to make your child more social.) Helping a child feel good about themselves early in life will help them build the self esteem that is so necessary as they grow and mature. That all starts with the push for daily exercise.kids and fitness

KIDS AND FITNESS | GETTING KIDS ACTIVE

As a parent I can say that one of the toughest things to do these days is to get the kids up and moving in the morning. But the secret to getting those kids out of bed is normally by providing something good for breakfast because we all know most kids like to eat! Starting the day with a healthy breakfast loaded with good nutrition is the perfect way to jump starting the kids for an active day. What you’ve heard a thousand times is true: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s very much true for kids as well. A mix of fruits, protein and whole grains is ideal as long as you avoid the sugary cereals which simply provide a lot of unnecessary calories. As I can attest to, a nutritional well rounded breakfast will keep my child going until lunch while a bowl of sugary cereal like Fruit Loops or Cocoa Puffs will keep them going for about an hour until the sugar high wears off. Spend the extra 10-15 minutes every morning to make sure the kids are well nourished and you will be rewarded ten times over with healthy kids.

KIDS AND FITNESS | FUN ACTIVITIES AND GAMES FOR KIDS HEALTH

Let’s face it. The broken run-down swing set in the backyard will only get your kids so much enjoyment and they need something to occupy themselves that’s not only healthy but enjoyable. There are a lot of activities for kids and the entire family that can be so much fun as well as the perfect solution for getting exercise on a daily basis. How about trying a few of these:

  1. Inline Skating – If your kids are growing tired of the same old thing then get them a pair of inline skates. First of all it’s unique as many kids don’t have them and anything new and “cool” will be a winner. Just make sure you buy all of the extra pads and helmets to go with them as you don’t need a trip to the hospital just because you wanted your child to get more exercise. Find them a good flat (preferably LARGE area) and let them go nuts!
  2. Junior Golf – Golfing is normally considered an adult sport but more and more kids are getting into it these days. With young professional golfers taking the sport by storm it is kids and fitnessslowly gaining the attention of kids around the globe. If you stick with the local courses, it can be a very inexpensive way to get your kids some exercise.  Every try walking 18-holes of golf on a warm sunny day? Now that is exercise!  If you want to start small,  try the local driving range as it’s always fun to swing the club at a bucket of golf balls! Or, get your kids some clubs (or rent them for a few bucks) and get them out on the links. Most colleges and community centers offer beginner courses too so if they become really interested in the sport, you have somewhere to help them get to the next level.
  3. Karate | Martial Arts – Karate can not only be a form of exercise for kids but a tool to teach them stretching techniques, discipline and self defense. It is exercise for the mind and body and is definitely a great option to provide to your children who are interested in something new and exciting.
  4. Lifting Weights – This is something I would recommend for older kids (teenagers and above) as simple weight lifting on a weekly basis is superb for your health. Now, I’m not saying your kids should be venturing out to bench press 200-lbs or dead lift a small truck. I’m talking small weights that you can find at your local gyms and/or sporting goods stores. Lifting weights is great exercise, helps build self esteem and again is super healthy as long as it’s done correctly. Check back to this website as well be doing some informational articles soon about how your children should be properly exercising with weights.  Stay tuned!
  5. Youth Sports | Team Sports – Most schools have team sport activities going on year round and it’s normally not hard to find something your child will enjoy.  Starting kids out when they are young in organized sports is the best thing  you can do. Try a bunch of them (soccer, softball, baseball, football, basketball, tennis, track, cross country, etc) and see which ones your child is good at and most of all enjoys. You will be surprised at not only the physical advantages to being in sports but the social aspects too as kids get to know each other. Can’t say enough about team sports and how great they are for kids of all ages.

Getting your child involved can be a challenge but it goes back to the whole idea of forming good habits. By teaching good nutrition, getting the kids out of the house and doing some form of daily exercise and guiding them through the variety of exercising options, you will be assured of a well adjusted happy child….and a very healthy one at that!  Too many kids these days fall into bad habits of eating junk food and getting little exercise which is why childhood obesity is at epidemic levels. By promoting Kids and Fitness you are doing your part to make sure your child is not left behind and has a great life ahead of them and that is to be commended. Good luck to everyone!

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