Benefits of Early Exercising in Fighting Childhood Obesity Risks

Benefits of Early Exercising in Fighting Childhood Obesity Risks

Most parents are concerned about their children’s obesity. While some parents are concerned that their child is already obese, some others are concerned because they want to prevent their child from getting obese. Their concern is justified, as there are many risks of childhood obesity. Unfortunately, the number of obese children is rising alarmingly.

Dr. Dennis S Phillips of Medicine says that during the 1960s, only 4-5 % of all children and adolescents were affected by obesity but this number kept rising alarmingly and reached to 15% by 2000. The situation is so serious that the US First Lady Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Move” initiative in February 2010 to address this issue.

Just like the numbers, the consequences of childhood obesity are equally alarming. Dr. Dennis says 44% of the obese children suffer from Type 2 diabetes, a disease earlier known to affect only adults. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, high harmful LDL and High triglycerides have also been found common among obese children and adolescents. The list does not end here; a disease called sleep apnea in which the airway of the child is severely obstructed during sleep causing a serious drop in the oxygen levels of the child’s blood is common in obese children. Bone and joint disorders and even cancer have been found to be highly prevalent in obese children.

Not to mention the fact that obese children lose their self-esteem and are usually found to be lacking in confidence. The social trauma that they experience through every single day of their lives only complicates the things for them.

How do you know whether your child is obese? Use a BMI (body mass index) calculator and check his/her BMI; better still talk to your family physician. If your child is found to be obese or over weight, do not lose hope. Try to include healthy lifestyle, healthy food and physical activities in your child’s daily routine and you can help him control the side effects of obesity and even come out of it.

Be it British Medical Journal or any website on obesity on the internet, most advocate the role of exercises specially that of cardio workouts in managing childhood obesity and its repercussions.

According to Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2008, lack of physical activity is the biggest cause of childhood obesity and most experts feel it is much easier to prevent child obesity than cure it.

For starters, you can try convincing your child to eat something healthy at least once a day instead of eating junk food or cookies. You should try to make it mandatory in the family for everyone to go to kitchen for eating and that no food will be allowed outside. This will force you all to walk that much extra. You can add such disciplines to most of your daily routine and burn a few extra calories.

Although motivating a child to do physical activities should include entertaining outdoor sports or indoor activities like rock dancing, the exercises that you can consider for your overweight child may include light activities like walking, moderate ones like brisk walking, moderate cycling or climbing a hill, vigorous ones like speed cycling, fast running, weight lifting etc.

You can encourage your child to walk the dog. If do not have one, let him help the neighbor. Ask him to join a swimming club or a martial arts class.

Talk to your child about the risks of obesity and ways to counter it. Try to convince him that it is in his own interest to do as much physical activity as is possible for him. If it does not work, then take help from others or consider counseling.

Take your personal trainer into confidence; at times people outside the family are more successful in convincing the children into doing constructive things in life.