More than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese in 2012 and that number continues to rise.
One of the best ways to avoid obesity in your children is to lead by example and engage your them in healthy habits and fitness. Make it fun for the whole family!
The first step is to sit down and establish healthy goals. The goals could include everyone taking a walk after dinner every other day, limiting screen time, or eating at least one vegetable and one fruit with every lunch.
Next, to stick to the goals you set as a family, make a fun family activity calendar. Let’s Move has a great Family Activity calendar that has spaces for you to insert a healthy fitness activity and meal for each day of the week. If you would like to make your own, simply list out the days of the week and fill each one in with healthy goals you and your family agree to achieve each day. Make it even more fun by using stickers as each activity is completed. Regardless of the calendar you use, it will be a great tool for to keep everyone on track.
The exercise of planning together also gives you an opportunity to discuss healthy lifestyle choices. Do your kids know how many fruits and vegetables they should be eating? How about that 30 minutes of exercise can keep your body happy and healthy?
Four key words to create fun workouts
An easy way to promote healthy living is to incorporate physical activity into all aspects of your life. A fun way to remember to do this is through four key words: play, clean, go and celebrate.
- Play – Make exercise a group activity. Instead of carving out an hour to go to the gym, do some yoga together, build a snowman, play keep-it-up or maybe a round of kickball. All of these will get everyone’s heart pumping and burn some calories.
- Clean – How do you make household chores more fun? Add music and some dancing feet. If you’re doing laundry, have the younger members of the family take dirty clothes and shoot them into a laundry basket for an impromptu game of basketball.
- Go – When you’re out and about, try to take the stairs more frequently, or if you’re going to a store nearby, opt for walking or biking to your destination.
- Celebrate – Look for a great celebration for birthdays or good grades – an active one. Head to the batting cages, jump around on trampolines at a place like Sky Zone or go to an ice skating rink.
By incorporating activity into your daily routine, it will become a habit for your family and a way of life. Plus, it’s a helpful reminder for us all to spend more time together as a family!
Finally, wearable devices serve as great reminder to get in your daily steps. But these aren’t just for the adults in the family, LeapFrog has introduced the LeapBand, an activity tracker for kids age 4 to 7. The tracker encourages active play and healthy habits. The more your child does in terms of activity, the more they can play with their customizable pet.