Today in the United States, nearly 1 in 3 kids are either overweight or obese.* This is a heartbreaking statistic. Outside of the social implications for children who are carrying extra weight, it can often be a prediction of their future relationship with their weight. Overweight toddlers become overweight middle-schoolers, who become overweight high-schoolers who become overweight adults. Not to mention the potential physical dangers which include:
- Excess stress on muscles, joints & bones
- Increased instance of heart disease
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Sleep issues
The saddest part – kids won’t make changes on their own. They need a positive influence to keep them motivated.
Parents, are you ready for some good news?
- Kids are naturally active. It is in their nature to be busy, get out and play!
- Healthy habits start at a young age. A little encouragement will go a LONG way to help them build healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
- Parents are in a great position to be the example their kids need. According to a study done by the National Institute of Health, 40% of kids who worked toward fitness goals while their parents were working toward fitness goals maintained their weight loss for 10+ years. EVEN when the parents stopped working toward those goals, the kids working with parents were able to keep the weight off!
If you are a parent, this should be incredibly encouraging! You can be the role model they need to get up, get out and get moving. We have some tips below to help you make some small changes that can have a BIG IMPACT on your kids’ relationship with physical activity. Here they are:
- Be sure they get an hour of exercise a day
Sure they have gym class but that may not be every day. Even if they are not athletic, they still need to stay active. Encourage them to participate in activities they enjoy. Some ideas include:
- Walk the dog
- Join a school sponsored running club
- Ride a bike
- Take a family hike. There is no shortage of trails in our area. Take advantage of them and go enjoy nature together!
- Turn on the radio and have a family dance fest!
- Limit TV & Computer Activity
Kids in the United States spend between 5 – 7 hours a day in front of a screen! That is simply too much. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children get no more than 2 hours of screen time a day.
- Have fun items that will get your kids excited about activity handy.
Grab balls, jump ropes and hula hoops and put them in a large bin by the door so that when the weather is nice, they can get outside and play!
Talk to your kids and find out what they want to learn. OCSC has an awesome youth program that includes classes in Gymnastics, Cheer, Trampoline, Fencing, Dance & Martial Arts.
Get yourself moving! Your everyday behavior is the single greatest influence for your kids.
OCSC wants to help you be a better example for your kids! We are currently offering a Membership Special for Parents of kids enrolled in our youth programs. For $19 a month and no enrollment fee you can experience all OCSC has to offer including our fitness center with cardio, circuit training and free weights along with over 40 group classes per month. Give us a call for more details!
*According to the National Institute of Health