In the United States, the number of children who are obese has increased. In fact, 1 out of 3 kids is considered overweight or obese. Teens who are overweight have a greater chance of becoming overweight or obese as they grow older.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nowadays, one in five kids who are between 6 and 19 years old is obese. Obesity differs from being overweight. A person is considered obese if he/she has excess body fat. While an overweight person is someone who has an excess body weight. Computing a person’s Body Mass Index, or BMI can help in determining whether he/she is obese or overweight. However, this is only effective for kids and young adults who are between 2 to 20 years old. Kids whose BMI is between 85% to 94% are considered overweight. However, children whose BMI is equal to 95% or over are considered obese.
Most of us are not aware that people who are not physically inactive have a higher risk of suffering from stroke, coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high level of cholesterol, and obesity. The American Heart Association greatly recommends that everyone should spend at least 60 minutes of their time in doing some exercise or any physical activities. You can start from moderate and gradually proceed to vigorous exercises.
Most of us think that exercise is mainly working out in the gym. It could be lifting those weights or running on a treadmill. However, for kids playing could also mean an exercise. Our kids can only get the chance to be physically active at school during their gym classes. At home, they can ride bikes or play with other kids.
Keeping Kids Active
It is very important that we should keep our kids active. Children who love to run around in the playground are naturally active. These kids are not aware that performing physical activities such as playing soccer or climbing on a slide is beneficial to them. As these kids get older, they might not have enough time to perform their daily activities. Perhaps it’s because they are getting busier with their studies. Sometimes they feel that they don’t excel in sports. Kids who belong to busy working families have lesser chances of being active. It is also possible that there is no active role model that they can look up to
Nevertheless, despite these hindrances, parents should take the time to encourage their kids to be physically active. They should help their children in finding physical activities that are suitable in their daily lives.
How to Keep Your Kids Healthy while Having Fun
Children who are getting a sufficient amount of exercise can enjoy its tremendous benefits. From obtaining stronger bones and muscles to helping them on their concentration skills and boosting their self-confidence. It would be better if they can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activities every week.
Riding a bicycle or scooter and walking are some of the great examples of moderate activities. On the other hand, playing football, jumping, and doing gymnastics or energetic dancing are just some of the best examples of vigorous activities.
We want our kids to be healthy and active. However, it is also important they are enjoying what they do. Here are some ways that you can keep your kids active while having some fun.
Playing With Water
Spraying your kids with water can definitely keep them moving most especially if you are using ice cold water. It does not matter if you are using cheap water guns or garden hose, the most important thing is this activity can surely make them happy.
Walking For A Mile
It was headmistress Elaine Wyllie who introduced the Daily Mile walk campaign. She started this program to help her students who were not physically fit. Her goal is not just to enhance their physical health but also their social and emotional health. It does not matter if these kids will walk, run, or skip as long as they are physically active.
By incorporating this daily activity into their routine, teachers observed that the mood, conduct, concentration levels as well as their complete well being have improved. You don’t have to go far, in fact, you can just go around the block.
Dance With Your Kids
Just turn on the music and dance with your kids. This is a fun activity for the entire family, especially during those rainy afternoons. You can even create a dance competition and choose the one who has the craziest dance moves. Go ahead and teach your children the different dance moves whether its belly dancing, break dancing, etc. This is a very entertaining activity for the whole family. The best thing about this activity is you only need a good sound system.
This is a fun activity for kids. They can either search for fake gold coins, Pokémon, or just about anything. Sometimes you will get amazed how fast these children can move when they are looking for a treasure. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, you can place them anywhere in your house. They could either play as a team or just an individual. You can provide them with treasure hunt clues to make it more challenging. Just make sure to award the winner with a great price. It could be anything like a piece of fake jewelry, stickers, badges, and others.
Keep Track of the Time
Time your children as they run along the park. This can ignite the competitive spirit in them. By doing regular practice, you’ll be surprised how they can quickly improve their performance. To make it more challenging and entertaining try incorporating jumping on one foot. Your kids can even invite their friends to your home so they can join on your mini sports day.
How Much Is Enough?
Parents should ensure that their kids are getting enough exercise. So, how much exercise is needed by each kid? Teens and kids should spend at least 60 minutes of their time doing moderate to vigorous physical activities each day.
Toddlers and preschool kids should be allowed to play actively numerous times each day. For toddlers, they should be actively playing for at least 60 minutes a day. While for preschoolers, they must be actively playing for at least 120 minutes a day. This allocated time includes everything from planned physical activities with adults to unorganized active free playing.
If you have young children, then be sure that they are not inactive more than an hour except of course if they are sleeping. On the other hand, if you have school-age children, then be sure that they are not inactive for more than two hours.
For parents who have children aged five to sixteen years old, they should make sure that their kids are active for at least 60 minutes every day. While kids who are below five years old need to be active at least three hours a day.
Why Kids Should Exercise?
Being physically active can prolong a person’s life. It can also help in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. At an early age, parents should motivate their children to participate in physical activities. Aside from its health benefits, it can also provide psychological and social benefits.
If kids are inactive when they are young, then most likely they will also become inactive when they become adults.
Benefits of Being Physically Active
There are great benefits that anyone can enjoy from doing regular exercise. Performing any kind of physical activities can help children in controlling their weight. They have a lesser risk of becoming obese or overweight. Kids who are physically active can develop stronger bones and muscles. There is a lesser chance that they could suffer from type 2 diabetes or any kind of cancer. Being physically active can lower their blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. As a result, they will have a better prospect in life. Aside from enjoying these health benefits, these kids can also sleep better. When they are facing physical and emotional challenges, they can likely overcome them easily. It can help them obtain more self-confidence and self-esteem.
How Can You Encourage Your Kids to be Physically Active?
Did you know that only one out of three kids is physically active each day? Most kids and teens spend most of their time on computers, television, cellphones, and other gadgets. As a result, they spend lesser time on sports games and other physical activities. Parents play an important role in motivating their kids to become physically active each day. Here are some effective ways to help you get started.
Reduce Sedentary Activities
The best way that you can promote physical exercises in kids is to minimize their sedentary activities such as playing computer games, watching televisions, and using cellphones, tablets and other electronic devices for entertainment. Choose physical activities that can be enjoyed by your kids. As a parent, you should be the role model for an active lifestyle. As much as possible, try to provide your kids with the chance to perform any kind of physical activities each day.
Get Recommendations From Your Child’s Doctor
You could also try talking to your child’s doctor. They can help your kids understand why it is essential for them to be physically active each day. Maybe they can even suggest a particular sports activity that is appropriate for your child. Be sure that your kids are having fun in doing these activities. Parents can also help their children in finding a sport that they will enjoy the most. Keep in mind that the more your child enjoy what he/she is doing the more likely he/she is will continue doing this activity. It would be great if all the members of the family will also join. This is a great way that you can spend some quality time together. Parents can also play with their kids to help them in learning new sports games.
Select a Developmentally Appropriate Activity
In selecting a physical activity for your children, be sure that it is developmentally appropriate. What does it mean? For instance, if your child is 7 or 8, then it is not proper that you should let them run for three miles or let them do some weight lifting. However, you could let them ride their bicycles, participate in soccer games, join dancing lessons, or do some swimming.
Make sure that your kids are in a safe environment when doing their sports or physical activities. Always choose a safe location for them. Consequently, also check if the equipment that they are using is safe to use. Your kids must be dressed properly and appropriately for his/her chosen sport. Be sure that they feel comfortable in their clothing while they are playing.
Keep Them Busy At Home
While your kids are at home, you could keep them busy by providing them with active toys. For instance, young boys would love to play balls while young girls like jumping ropes. There are various active toys that you could buy for your children. It is very important that you should limit their time in using computers and watching television.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children should only be allowed one to two hours of screen time each day. This includes using computers, watching television or videos, playing video games, or using their cellphones, tablets, and other gadgets. Their free time should be spent in doing physical activities.
Plan Their Activities Ahead of Time
Be sure to plan their activities ahead of time to ensure that your kids have a convenient time for doing their physical activities. At the same time, you can make a reservation on the site where they will be performing their sports or physical activities.
It is essential that children should allocate time to exercise. Sometimes kids are busy doing their homework, attending their piano lessons, and other scheduled activities. Because of this, they do not have any free time to exercise.
Parents Should Be The Role Models
Kids will always imitate what their parents do. That is why parents should act as role models to their children. Most likely if they see their parents having fun while doing their sports and physical activities, then this can motivate them to do the same.
Avoid Overdoing It
Being physically active can provide us with lots of health benefits, not only physically but mentally as well. However, kids and adults should not overdo it. Don’t force your body if your body is not ready for it. Always remind your kids to listen to their bodies. This can help them determine if they are ready for it. Make sure that your kids do not feel any pain while doing their exercise or physical activities. When this happens, they should try to slow down. Or maybe they can switch to a less vigorous physical activity.
Just like doing any other activities, it is essential that they should not be exaggerated. In case their sports or physical activities have affected their studies, health, or other activities, then its best to seek some advice from your child’s doctor.
The American Heart Association’s Recommendation
AHA recommends that kids should start doing physical activities at the age of 2. And continue to do so as they get older. Each day, they should engage themselves in any type of moderate physical activities for at least 60 minutes. Be sure that the activity should be fun and can help them developmentally. Keep it diverse all the time.
In case your kids wouldn’t be able to finish their activity in 60 minutes, then you can either do it twice a day in a 30-minute period or four times a day in a 15-minute period. Let them participate in vigorous physical activities which are suitable for their age and gender. It must also be appropriate for their level of physical and emotional development.
The key to a healthy, active life is not only doing exercise its also having a balanced diet. This is extremely vital most especially for kids who are either obese or overweight. Basically, what parents can do is to encourage their kids in practicing healthy habits while they are still young. Always remember that it is never too late to start. The best thing to do is to talk to your child’s doctor and obtain some suggestions about healthy living.