According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the obesity rate for children living in the United States has risen to 17%. A number that has tripled in the last 10 years. Parents and adults need to take action now to ensure the health of the youth in our country.
There are many ways to incorporate healthy lifestyles and fitness programs in our lives. Encouraging your child to participate in physical activities is easier than you may realize. A simple fitness program can be followed in everyone’s lifestyle. As with any fitness program, consult with your child’s physician before beginning any activity.
Here are some great physical activities!
Aerobic activity. There are several ways to add an aerobic activity into your child’s week. Going for a brisk walk as a family is a wonderful benefit and a way to spend time together. If your child is willing jog, have them start off slowly and gradually increase the distance when they are conditioned. Skating, going for a bicycle ride and swimming can be a family event or one your child can do on their own.
Soccer. Kicking a soccer ball around, whether on a team or in your back yard, will get the heart rate up and reap healthy benefits. Team sports may be intimidating at first, but it’s an opportunity to not only exercise, but to become a part of a team. There are public play grounds, water parks, community walking trails make it helpful to get your child out at least 4-5 times a week for some aerobic workout.
Bone and Muscle Strengthening Activities. These include running and jumping rope. Gymnastics is a fantastic way to build strength and it also adds aerobic and flexibility workout in fitness program. Sit-ups, push-ups, and weight training are great examples to build muscle. Doing these activities at least 3 times per week for 60 minutes will lead to stronger bones and muscles, which in turn help burn more calories. Healthy diet.
Your fitness program needs to include healthy eating. Do your best to avoid sugar and sweets. Water is essential in our diets and you and your child should drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Sports drinks are tasty and have added benefits and can be substituted for a glass of water. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be offered 4-5 times daily.
You can turn this into an activity by picking berries together and growing a garden. Limit the amount of fatty foods or better yet, avoid them as much as possible. Offer frozen yogurt or sherbet instead of ice cream.
They still get to have a treat and miss out on unnecessary calories. Choose an age appropriate fitness program for your child. You can incorporate physical activities from the time your toddler starts walking to the time they head off to college. Make fitness a part of your child’s life. Start them off young and they will used to it. You can and should be an example to your children by leading a healthy and active lifestyle as well.