With rates of childhood obesity at epidemic levels, there has been a greater push to get children to eat healthier and be more active. Diet is an important part of raising healthy children, but so is exercise. Unfortunately, many areas of the country have had their educational budgets cut to the point where physical education programs are being sharply reduced or even eliminated. Many schools are also shortening recess periods in an effort to increase instruction time. Combine these developments with the fact that many kids get little or no physical activity at home, and it’s easy to see why exercise has become a focus in the effort to curb childhood obesity rates.
Frances Berg, an expert in childhood obesity, says “Because young children naturally move around a lot, many people assume they are getting all the physical activity they need. But today TV and videos often keep them still for longer periods than parents realize.” And any parent knows how difficult it can be to tear kids away from the TV or computer. The trick is to make the alternatives interesting for them. Berg says, “Physical activity should be a fun part of daily life and never forced. If children begin to associate being active with having fun, they're more likely to stay active as they grow up.” Following are a few tips for raising more active kids.
Encouraging your children to be more active will help to burn off the excess energy they have, making them happier and more able to focus during quiet times. It will also help them build healthier lifestyle habits for the future!