FFF: Kids and Fitness

Jun 29, 2012

We all know the statistics, right?

Aprox. 17%, or 12.5 MILLION children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 are OBESE.

Since 1980, the obesity rate of children and adolescents has almost TRIPLED.

The consequences of this:

Obese children are more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholestrol which are risk factors for heart disease.

Increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Increased risk of asthma and sleep apnea

Increased risk of joint problems.

More likely to be obese adults.

Not only are they at risk for more physical problems, but they also run a much higher risk of social/phychological problems -- such as poor self esteem, bullying, and discrimination.

*The above information was taken from the CDC Website.

In my opinion, it is my responsibility as a parent to keep my children healthy.  This is not limited to taking them to the doctor when they are sick or making sure all their vacinnations are up to date.  This includes making sure they are eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise.  Making sure they are at a healthy weight. 

Your kids already love playing outside and eating healthy?  Great! 

Are you concerned about your child's weight or activity level and need some help?  Try these tips:

On the eating end, I am just going to go all Jillian Michael's on you ... Throw out the junk.  Don't buy anymore.  You keep healthy foods in the house, your kids will eat them.  If you feel the kids need a treat, really treat them and go out for ice cream or fro yo.  If you don't have junk in the house, they can't eat it.  This has always worked for me when I am trying to drop a few pounds.  If there are no Chips Ahoy in the house, I cannot consume the whole bag in one sitting. 

Make sure you have healthy snacks at the ready.  Keep a container of washed and cut up veggies, so there is no prep necessary when hungry.  Apples are a super easy and nutritious snack.  Pair an apple with some peanut butter and you've got something that will fill your kids up. 

Try smoothies - packed with dairy and fruits, this is a great snack that your kids will think is a treat.

Getting resistance to eating the fruits and veggies - let your kids pick them out at the store.  When kids are involved, they are more likely to be open to try it.

Some of the "junk" the kids want can be homemade and ends up being much healthier.  Try making your own granola bars, fruit leather, popsicles, etc.  Again, let the kids help, they are more likely to try it.

We have been doing a lot of blind taste tests at our house lately.  Sometimes kids just don't like the look of something and will refuse to eat it.  So take that option away from them.  I blindfold the kids and have them try 3 different things.  Then they tell me if they like them or not.  We both are usually shocked at what they will eat this way and think this it is fun.

On the exercise front, there are lots of things you can do to make it fun:

Go for a family bike ride or play a family game of kick ball.

Swimming is a sport everyone loves and can really give a good workout.  Or just running through the sprinklers is fun.

Try hula hooping or hop scotch.

Make it interesting - our theme here this summer is 'It's a marathon summer'.  Since the hubs and I both took up running there has been lots of talk about marathons, so #1 was always asking about them.  So that is why we decided to theme it that way.  She is doing 26 book reports, 13 art projects (half marathon), 13 math assignments, and running/walking 26 miles.  We do it a mile at a time.  Once she completes one of her marathons or half marathons, she earns a reward.  For instance, once she completes the 26 miles of running, she gets to play games at Chuck E Cheese.  I am not above bribery. ;)

Figure out what your kids are interested in and turn it into exercise.  Does your son love pirates?  Have a pirate treasure hunt throughout your neighborhood - create a map, hide things along the way.  Have there be some sort of treasure at the end.

Walk around the zoo, the botanical gardens, a nature trail.

Set a good example.  If you are exercising, they will notice and take interest.  You should see both the kids try to do Yoga with me, hilarious and awesome!

Go to the park.

Buy everyone in the family pedometers and have a competition to see who can get the most steps in a given day, week or month. 

The possibilities are endless.
Get out there and get active, we all need to be making an effort to help our kids acheive all that they can.


1 comment:

  1. Grate article.Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


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