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Raising Fit Kids

  • October 18, 2018
  • By Brittany
Raising Fit Kids

Recently there has been a lot of talk about raising fit kids.  Childhood obesity has been on the rise and the population as a whole is expanding in the waistline.  Of course, the best way to combat this is to start at the root, the children.

Aside from combating childhood obesity and reducing the likelihood of contracting adulthood diseases, raising active kids  can have immediate benefits.  Active kids tend to perform better academically because they have better cognition, memory, processing speed and attention.  It can also help lower anxiety and depression in children and improve behavior.  And of course, physical activity can also improve sleep and what parent wouldn’t benefit from that?

You might think that enrolling your child in all kinds of organized sports is the way to go but in actuality, most kids don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity through sports alone.  The reason. Wong that much of the time is spent learning the rules, waiting their turn and listening to their coaches.  While there is still a lot of value and importance in organized team sports, it shouldn’t be the only solution for your child’s physical activity.

According to the 2018 Physical Activity Guideline Board, children ages 1-4 need at least 180 minutes of structured and unstructured play time in order to control weight gain and increase bone health.  Children ages 6-13 get 60 minutes of cardiovascular activity on most days of the week including walking, jogging, skipping, biking or playing ball sports. They also need muscle strengthening exercises at least 3 days per week and bone strengthening exercises (like skipping rope or tumbling) 3 days a week.

So how can a child get this activity?  For one, being a good role model will help them want to be active.  Role modeling activity and good eating habits instills in the child a sense of habit in the child.  Also, organizing active family activities is helpful.  Family walks, bike rides or outdoor games is a great way to get the little ones moving.  Even just playing tag with your kids helps contribute to activity time.

Personally, my son loves “class time” when I do my workout for the day.  He gets his own mat and loooooves to mirror my moves.  He will grab my weights or my resistance band and tell me he is super strong.  He also has a lot of fun with yoga.  It is super cute!  I’m working on some pilates for him as well!

Try to make movement fun.  Races, bowling, hitting a golf ball, kicking a ball even jumping on a trampoline can all contribute to the fun factor.  Sometimes I even make a more stationary activity a movement activity to keep things interesting and fun.  For example, with our easier puzzles, I hide the puzzle pieces and my son has to walk all over the house to find them and then put the puzzle together.  It gets him moving and makes the puzzle more challenging and fun! 

We also like to do fun things outside like run through the sprinkler (a simple, “I’m going to get you” and running after him does the trick), chase bubbles from the bubble machine and jump around in our homemade ball pit.  Being a little creative and willing to put in the time goes a long way.    

Even just limiting screen time can help contribute to a child’s overall activity level.  With less time devoted to the screen, they are required to get out and move more.  A win-win!

And of course, don’t underestimate enrolling kids in after school sports like gymnastics, soccer, swim lessons and more.  All will contribute to the child’s overall fitness.

By Brittany, October 18, 2018
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