Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Preventing Childhood Obesity through Physical Activity

Many parents are concerned about rising rates of childhood obesity. It's important to keep a healthy perspective on the situation and not overreact with overly restrictive approaches that can do more harm than good. One way to promote healthy weights in children is to help them to be physically active.

There are infinite possibilities for children to be physically active that also promote family fun and unity. Get together for a family walk at least once a day, whenever you can fit it into your schedule. Play actively together in the house or outside as the weather permits. Throw a ball, kick a soccer ball, shoot hoops, or just enjoy plain old horseplay for fun. Have a tickle party or a fun game of silly charades, and get the benefits of a good giggle, which is exercise for the insides!

When you take a family vacation or just a weekend away from the routine, be sure to include active fun, like hiking, jogging, swimming, flying a kite, playing ball, or other active play.
As part of keeping young people active, limit TV and other screen time to two hours or less each day. When your children do watch television, encourage them to do something physical during the commercials! Modeling these behaviors will encourage young children to be like mom or dad, so get down on the floor and do some push-ups or crunches and maybe your children will join you, to keep the whole family fit and healthy.
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