Family Fitness for Obesity Prevention
It is important that you and your children get regular physical activity and/or exercise. Physical activity helps to keep our muscles, bones and joints strong, our brains stimulated, and our hearts and blood full of fresh oxygen. Regular physical activity helps us burn calories and promotes feelings of emotional well-being. Here are a few ways to inspire your family to be active.
- Be an example - Talk about how regular physical activity can benefit the whole family, and be physically active. Let your children see you being physically active and/or talk about how it benefits your stress levels, stamina, etc.
- Plan kid oriented activities for the whole family AND make physical activity fun! Swimming, walking the dog, family walks after dinner, riding bikes, etc. For example, don't go running if you hate running, pick something you enjoy.
- Plan ahead for each season. What will be the family activity for spring, summer, fall, winter? Think of activities that can be done indoors and outdoors. This winter, try Hula Hoop competitions, play Twister, or Chinese jump rope. If you are watching television - have short fitness competitions during each commercial break to see who can do the most sit-ups, push-ups or jumping jacks.
- Ensure that your child reaches adulthood with an individual sport or activity he/she enjoys. (It doesn't need to be competitive.) Swimming, roller skating/blading, soccer, tennis. Enroll your child in intramural sports, dance, or other recreational activities that fit your budget. Then make them a priority.
Here is a list of web sites that can help you and your children learn about healthy habits.
This site by the CDC promotes strong bodies and minds in "tweens"
This site for kids 9-12 promotes healthy eating and active living. It is sponsored by the International Food Information Council in partnership with the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Dietetic Association, and National Recreation and Parks Association, among others.
Created by the Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media. Kids Health provides families with accurate, up-to-date, and jargon-free health information they can use.
For kids: www.kidshealth.org/kid/
For Teens: www.teenshealth.org/
This site sponsored by the Pacific Science Center and Washington State Dairy Council, offers nutritional information through a variety of games
BEST BONES FOREVER
The Best Bones Forever!™ Campaign encourages girls to get active and eat more foods with calcium and vitamin D.
This web site is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest(CSPI), provides nutrition information and various activities for kids.