Obesity is on the rise at an alarming rate, especially where our kids are concerned. You see it on every TV show and in all of the papers—everyone seems to be talking about it, yet there are no signs of it slowing down.
Nutrition is a major part of the solution; however, getting our kids moving again is equally important. They are often planted in front of the computer or television at home then go to school where they sit for hours at a time. So the question is, how do you get them interested in fitness and create a lifelong good health habit?
Knowing what you are up against is the first step in making a change. According to the center for disease control, 1 in 3 children are obese. In the past 30 years the percentage of obese and overweight children has more than tripled! The consequences of this are also disconcerting—if your child struggles with obesity they are more than 70% likely to be predisposed to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer.
There is also a financial cost to obesity. The average 18-year old who remains obese through adulthood will create an additional 500K in medicial bills due to health related issues. Not to mention the psychological costs in dealing with the self-esteem and the restrictions of living an obese life. It is so important to get involved now, while your child is building the habits that they will have throughout their lives.
The good news is that this is a fixable problem. By intervening now and helping your child to become fit, you will ensure them a greater chance at having a healthy adulthood. Both children and adults are leading extremely sedentary lifestyles. A good start is to lead by example. When you make healthy changes your family will follow.
Chances are if you have an obese or overweight child that you may have already try to impart the importance of exercise. Not everyone will take to it with enthusiasm. You will need to be strategic and consistent in trying new things or new activities that may spark interest. Play different sports with them to see if it is something that will stick. Get them to play outdoors with their friends instead of staying inside all of the time. You can also boost their motivation to try new habits by utilizing reward, such as ordering a favorite movie or choosing the location of the next family outing when they have met all of their exercise requirements. Have them get another friend, or group of friends, involved in the activities. Exercise is always more successful when you have a buddy involved.
Teach your children well
When you inform your kids and teach them all of the aspects of your healthy changes, it will give them further benefits. Educate them on the physiological aspects of exercise like burning calories and optimum heart rate, and maybe buy them a body bug monitor. Have them keep a log of the food that they eat, and you can count the calories and go over the nutritive value together. Teach them how to be a healthy cook. Create new healthy recipes and involve them in the grocery shopping. This is a helpful tool as they can begin to learn how to read labels and the importance of the nutritional values listed.
If the situation is getting critical, up can also think about hiring a local personal trainer; the trainer may even agree to a group class at a nearby park, thereby sharing the costs and involving others with whom your child may relate to and become friends with.
Changing your child’s lifestyle is not an easy task once they have become set in their ways. It will take a lot of commitment and perseverance on your part. But the rewards of good health are priceless, and you will be giving your child a great gift. Use the Internet to find out more information regarding available programs. Keeping your strategy creative will heighten your child’s interest and imagination; letting them participate is also key for their self-esteem and motivation.