#Fitness Friday: Fit grownups make fit kids

If my son were an animal he would be a sloth. Honestly, that boy only moves fast when there is food on the table! TV and video games are not allowed during the week so he spends his time reading, doing Lego’s, or some other stationary activity. Even when he goes outside to play he like to climb a tree and just ‘think’ (as he puts it…). My daughter on the other hand is like a baby bunny…cute and cuddly but hopping in a million different directions. Her nickname at school is ‘Wiggles’. How I got 2 such different kids I really don’t know! If they didn’t look so much like my husband and I you’d think there had been a mix up at the hospital!

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I am probably going to offend someone out there but I really don’t think there is any reason for a kid to be overweight. As parents, WE are responsible for our children’s health and it is a job I take very seriously. Lessons learned in childhood will stick with them for ever. I thought I would put together a few suggestions I have found that will guide our kids into a fit adulthood.

1. Be a Role Model!  There is no way your kids will eat healthy and exercise if you don’t. Not saying you have to lose weight and be supermodel skinny but show them that you can grab an apple for a snack and not just a bag of cookies. I need some serious work on my exercise routine if I am going to be able to keep up with Wiggles the hyper bunny on her runs!

2. Teach portion control:  Kids want a snack? Of course they do…kids always want a snack! Don’t just hand them a bag of goldfish to eat out of. Put it in a bowl before serving. That way, they learn what a normal portion size looks like.

3.  Exercise as a family. I just need to take a minute to show off my husband’s marathon photo from Disney last weekend. While my kids aren’t running 26 miles with him, we do go to the track as a family together just for a few laps around the loop. Encourage older kids and teens by bringing along mp3 players and headphones to let them rock out while they work out.

4. Let them try new things!  My kids have tried soccer, running, yoga, gymnastics, karate, ballet, tennis, and an assortment of ‘get moving and let’s play’ kind of classes. Check your local parks and recreation department for options. My rule is if you start it, you finish it. If it is a 6 week class you attend all 6 weeks even if you hate the first one. If it is a more formalized activity like ballet you finish out the year. This makes them really think about what kind of activities they are interested in. Who knows, maybe your kid hates basketball but will love martial arts! They will never know until they try. Limiting it to one sport at a time keeps costs lower.

5. Don’t let them drink their calories. Even 100% juice has a lot of calories. Encourage water whenever possible, especially after exercising. Kids rarely need sports drinks for re hydration! If they don’t learn to like water now, chances are they will choose sodas as an adult.

6. Limit screen time:  Whether it is TV, video games, or email make them turn it off for large portions of the day! Kick them outside periodically and make sure to leave unstructured time for them to just jump on their bike and ride around the neighborhood! Exercise is not always a formal class!

7. Establish a routine:  Maybe you want to start exercising as a family but don’t know when? How about an after dinner walk around the  neighborhood or a Saturday morning trip to the park with skateboards and bikes? Make time for exercise in your life so your kids can, too!

Children that are overweight are more likely to suffer from asthma and a number of other health related issues. And even kids that are NOT overweight need to learn early that a good diet and moderate amount of exercise is important. As parents, we do the shopping and make the rules. Make sure you are making choices that will help raise fit and healthy adults!

Do you like to exercise with your kids? How do YOU teach them how to live healthy?

 

 

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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

Comments

  1. This is so true! Children learn what they see day in and day out. Setting a good example is very important for us to do as parents!
  2. No kids here so I just have to worry about setting a healthy example for myself, LOL.
  3. Children definitely learn from their environment and their parents/caregivers. My children are great motivators for me.
  4. Children definitely learn their examples from their parents/caregivers. I am always pushing healthy food and exercise.
  5. Amen! I'm not the best example of exercise, but I try. I can't seem to find any community sports where I live that take 4 year olds (I'm a little peeved about that). My son prefers to be sedentary so we walk to and from school most days. I strongly encourage :) him to run. The other day he ran all the way up to his school door and said to the aide, "I ran to school because I need to get more exercise."
  6. รับซื้อ Patek Philippe says:
    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience about unexpected emotions.

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