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  Fitness > Fit Kids >  << Previous|Next >>
  Keep Kids Fit...Not Fat

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says about 55 percent of adults are overweight or obese, up from 43 percent in 1960.  Much of this can be attributed to poor habits in their youth.  The Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health found that school-based programs are successful in increasing physical activity levels and emphasizing the substantial benefits of regular moderate exercise. Yet, by the time children reach high school, only 19 percent of them are considered physically active.  Many adults feel miserable about their weight. In most cases their struggles with food began in childhood. In the past 20 years, obesity among 6 to 11 year-old children has increased 54%!

Kids are playing less and getting less exercise because of technology.  As parents, we need to teach our children about having balance in our lives, exercise, fitness, and good eating habits.  We need to set a good example and train our children for life.  Kids shouldn't wait till they grow up to start exercising and eating right.

Here are some tips to help your kids stay active apart from rewiring your TV and computer:

  1. Set a good example.  If you aren't active, why should your kids be?
  2. Instead of taking the car to the store, walk or ride bikes with your kids.
  3. Instead of having the weekly family outing to the movies, go to the park instead.
  4. Have birthday parties at parks, water parks, the Discovery Zone, skating rinks, and other active places where your kids can run, jump, and play.
  5. Do things with your kids that are fun for both of you.  Go swimming, hiking, ride bikes, jump rope, tag, kickball, catch, etc.

Regular exercise can help your kids grow into fit and healthy adults by reducing their risk of a wide range of health problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. And, in addition to keeping your child physically healthy, staying fit can also boost their self-esteem, according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA). So help your kids get excited about exercise while they're young. Exercising can become a habit that will provide them with a lifetime of benefits.

Physical activity is proven to improve quality of life for children and is important in decreasing the risk of obesity, heart disease, depression and a myriad of other health problems throughout their lives. Some experts say that if one in five inactive individuals in North America became active, more than $100 billion in health care and related costs could be avoided.

Increasing the physical activity level of children and youth and providing visionary leadership, resource support and effective programs is critical for the future of our children. The time is now to address decreasing activity levels and the resulting health implications in youth today.

Reference Source 1,4,7

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