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5 Ways Parents Can Encourage Fitness to Avoid Childhood Obesity

The world has changed in the last 50 years. Remember the days of ‘Leave it to Beaver’? Kids would go outside first thing in the morning and wouldn’t be seen by their parents until dinner time. Children of the 50′s and 60′s would dread hearing their mother’s voice calling them home. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it isn’t safe to let kids be outside on their own all day long. Because of this and the busy lives we lead today, kids are more overweight than ever before. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Parents can help prevent inactive children from becoming inactive adults by encouraging fitness.

The Centers for Disease Control have indicated that childhood weight problems have tripled since 1980. In addition, the center is raising red flags about the health of our future generations. When you look at the lifestyle that we have today, is it any wonder? We rarely walk anywhere. We have elevators and escalators that take us from floor to floor in big buildings. Entertainment consists of movies and video games. Where is the movement and exercise? It is up to parents to take charge of our family’s health and make fitness a priority. The following five steps will help you bring movement back into your child’s life.

Have Fun! Remember how the old P.E. classes used to be? It was rigorous exercise that was compromised of calisthenics and running laps. It was not fun and definitely not worth looking forward too! However, you can make fitness fun. Make sure your kids have access to bikes, skateboards or roller blades. Take them to a park where there are playground to climb on. There are so many fun fitness options that will show kids that fitness doesn’t have to be boring!Show the way.

We have all heard the saying, ‘do as I say not as I do’. Well, when it comes to fitness everyone benefits no matter their age. So make the saying ‘do as I say, and watch me do it too!’. Let your kids see that fitness and a healthy lifestyle is a part of your life. What you do really does matter, so if you make exercise a priority in your life, you kids will too!Be supportive. If your child is participating in a sports program, be there to cheer them on. Make a big deal about their participation, even if they aren’t the star player. What matters is that they have a good experience and you can help make that happen.

Don’t overly critique their playing skills. If you must tell them how to do something a different way, make sure you include praise about how well they are doing in the program as well.Make family time fitness time! You can exercise together. Have family Frisbee games, go on walks and hikes together, visit the local pool and play in the water to raise your heart rate. Not only will you be helping your child get fit, but you will be building great memories as well.Restrict electronics.

Technology rules our world, and unfortunately that has a negative impact on the health of the next generation. Too many kids will come straight home from school and plop down in front of the television or video games. Limited their time with television and video games to a reasonable amount of time and encourage your kids to find other activities to do. Who knows, maybe your child will find out they have a knack for basketball or soccer.

It is time for parents to reclaim their children’s health, both for today and for the future. Encourage your children to exercise and eat right. We can beat the childhood obesity epidemic!