According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one third of adults and almost 20% of children in the U.S. are obese, and the numbers continue to ride.
We tend to blame fast food, video games, and cancelled physical education classes for causing this condition. While they may all play a part, they may not be at the root of the problem. Just a little bit of activity each day can help increase our short and long-term health. So get moving this summer and make exercise a family affair!
Children learn by what they see, especially when they’re young and impressionable. Their greatest role models are their parents. unfortunately, as life gets busy, exercise is often put on the back-burner and its importance becomes diminished. Kids turn on the Xbox or reach for the laptop. After a long day at work, adults relax on the couch and turn on the TV rather than heading out to exercise. It becomes more convenient to grab food on the way home or allow the children to watch TV. However, in the long run, is this the best choice? The habits we develop on a daily basis will have a long-term effect on our children’s health.
HOW TO MAKE EXERCISE A DAILY HABIT
Setting aside a certain time of the day when everyone can be active together can be challenging. What’s the secret to make it fit easily into a busy schedule? Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the club and repeating the same routine. This takes a lot of work and trying to incorporate the entire family can be quite tiresome. Children tend to not like scheduled evens or boring routines. SO use their sporadic tendencies to your advantage. Go for a race around the house, play a random game of tag, or take them on in a wall sit challenge. Who can hold a handstand the longest or do the most jumping jacks? Kids always love to test against Mom or Dad. Simple activities such as these can develop a love for exercise at a young age.
Don’t make things too difficult because they may give up or simply lose interest. Tap into your inner child (we all have one) and use this as bonding time with your children. Make simple chores fun by using your imagination and turning them into games. Gardening becomes “digging for treasure.” It’s more fun when you rake the leaves and then jump into the piles. Why not wash the car and have a water fight? Make it a goal to be active with your children at least 30 minutes every day. Children love games and will have fun, especially if they don’t realize it’s healthy for them. You may even find yourself having more fun than them! And while you’re forming healthy habits together, you’ll also be forming healthy family bonds.
Originally from PRO Pulse July-August 2013
By Chad Vanberkum