With childhood obesity rates on the rise and more kids than ever experiencing what were once considered adult health problems, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the sedentary lifestyle promoted by a glut of video games, television and electronic entertainment that is frequently paired with a fast food-centric diet is taking its toll on even the youngest members of the population. In addition to instilling good dietary habits in kids, however, one of the most important things a parent can do for their children is encourage a healthy level of physical activity.
Exercise has innumerable physical and psychological benefits, including enhanced fitness and heart health, greater strength, better weight management, improved sleep and reduced stress. Meanwhile, families who keep fit with each other see their attachment, social development and emotional management skills improve.
Although downtime is important, many people spend far too much time inactive, so when families exercise together they gain the combined benefits of being together, growing together and encouraging each other to be active.
As a society, we have become more aware of health and fitness. It’s never been more important for adults to model good exercise habits to their children. Our responsibility as parents is to be proactive in finding ways to exercise. When choosing an activity here are a few things to keep in mind
• Include your children in choosing your joint activity.
• Try a variety of activities until you find one that suits everyone.
• Make sure the instructors can instruct children as well as adults.
Get active, parents!! Get active for you, for your kids and for the healthy habits you want to instill in your lives. Your kids are important and they’re watching everything you do. Make fitness a priority and be sure to include them in it. Every body wins.