September is National Childhood Obesity Month. All month we’re giving tips on how to decrease childhood obesity, and in this 3rd installment, we discuss how the entire family can get involved. Obesity rates among our youth have steadily increased over the years, but it’s not just the kids who are gaining weight: according to the National Institute of Health, more than 2/3rds of all adults or 68% are considered overweight or obese.
In other words, obesity isn’t just a problem for our kids, it’s something we ALL must deal with. Getting in better shape is something the entire family can do together. Here are a few great ideas on how to do just that.
Bike riding. One great exercise the entire family can do together is ride bikes. Make it even more fun by packing a lunch and go to a nice park or trail for a leisurely ride. The fresh air and sunshine will do everyone some good.
If your kids are smaller and use training wheels, jog behind them while they ride, or, make it more of a workout for you and bounce a basketball while you bring up the rear.
Go for a walk. A few benefits of walking helps to build strong bones, tones the muscles and improve heart health, The entire family can walk the dog, go to the mailbox, or take a proverbial walk in the park.
Participate in a relay triathlon. A relay can bring the entire family together. One person swims, another bikes, and another runs. This is a great way to build trust and teamwork among family members.
Create indoor activities. If you’re indoors, you can still find ways to exercise. Make it a game: see you can do the most jumping jacks, pushups, or sit ups during commercial breaks. Make it a friendly competition by setting up teams of parents against the kids or every man for himself. Choose the exercises and methods that work best for you and your family.
In each of these instances, the quality time you spend with your family is priceless and provides a lifetime of wonderful memories.
Many times, kids will do what their parents do, so let them see you working out and taking care of yourself. If they ask why you’re doing it, tell them the truth. Tell them exercise is good for you, and we need to do more of it and invite them to join you. They just might take you up on the offer.
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