Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States. Therefore, it is imperative that parents instill the importance of good nutrition and healthy exercise habits in their children. Here are some simple ways to help your child develop healthy habits and grow up to be a fit and active adult.
Go to the Park
Studies show that children who spend the majority of their day in front of the television have a greater chance of becoming obese later in life. Encourage your child to get outside and be active. Go to your local park at least three times a week. If it's close enough, walk there. Let your child jump, run and swing for at least 45 minutes each day. Your child will get the chance to interact with other kids his age while getting his daily dose of exercise.
Have a Dance Break
Dancing is a great way to get the body moving and the heart pumping. Turn on some upbeat music and dance with your child for about fifteen minutes each day. A dance break is a great way to jump start your day or give you that extra burst of energy when you get home. If your child is a little older, consider enrolling him in a dance class. There are so many different genres out there that you are bound to find one that suits your child's personality.
Sign Them Up for a Team
Organized sports help kids incorporate exercise into their daily lives. Sign your child up for a local township team. Choose sports that are more cardio intensive like soccer or basketball. Team sports help your child develop important physical and social skills. Your child will not only learn the value of regular exercise, but the value of working together to achieve a common goal.
Walk, Don't Drive
Next time you need to run out for milk, considering walking instead of driving to the convenience store down the street. This will help encourage your child to be active whenever they can. When you go to shopping malls or other public places use the stairs instead of the elevator. By making these small adjustments, you'll be sending a big message to your kids.
Lead By Example
No matter how much you lecture your child about the value of living a healthy lifestyle, you words won't make an impact if you do it while sitting on the couch, eating brownies. Lead by example. Show your child that fitness can be fun and that health should be a priority. Bring your child to the gym with you. Get them involved by letting them spot you or count repetitions. Take your kid along when you go for a run or a long bicycle ride. Have them join you when you workout with an exercise DVD. Make exercise a family activity. Both you and your child will enjoy the time you spend together and you'll both reap the health benefits of leading a healthful, active life.