Exercise and Children

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Exercise and Children

As obesity rates increase around the globe, many experts are turning their focus toward childhood obesity and the disturbing trend that is developing. Some experts speculate that the gains we have made in life expectancy over the last few decades may start to diminish as our children begin experiencing the early onset of chronic diseases associated with childhood obesity.

As the main influence in their children’s lives, experts urge parents to take action to improve the health of their families.

Here are some suggestions for helping the children in your life become more active:

Become a role model. Be the person you want your child to become. If you are inactive, you can expect your child to develop the same habit.

Help your children be active. Support them in team sports or individual pursuits. Help your child chose an enjoyable activity and commit to making time for practice.

Teach healthy nutrition.  Although you can expect resistance, gradually adjust the eating habits in your home to include a wider range of fruit and vegetables and a narrower range of junk foods.

Eat as a family. Schedule some family meals around the dinner table each week. This simple act has been shown to improve family nutrition and communication.

Remove distractions. Prohibit eating in front of the television or in the car. When you are distracted, the act of eating reverts to a habitual behavior and leads to overeating.

Limit TV and computer time. With so much of your child’s life revolving around electronic interaction it can be hard to tear them away. However, if you want them to seek more active interests, you will have to limit the inactive ones.

You can’t expect your children to embrace a healthier lifestyle unless you embrace it yourself.  Ignore the initial resistance and try to enjoy a scheduled activity time with the whole family. Everyone will benefit.

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