September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 1 of every 5 (17%) of children in the United States has obesity and certain groups of children are more effected than others. This is quickly becoming a major public health problem.
- Children who have obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. Leading to lifelong physical and mental health problems, including diabetes and increased risk of certain cancers.
- Children who have obesity face more bullying.
- Childhood obesity is influenced by many factors. Sedentary activities; a lack of bedtime routine; a lack of community places to get physical activity; and easy access to inexpensive, high calorie snack and beverages.
So what can you do to encourage your kids to stay active and help prevent obesity and support healthy growth? It is recommended for children one-plus hours of daily physical activity. But this doesn’t have to mean going for runs or lifting weights.
- Take Family Walks – a pre-or post-dinner walk is a great way to get your kids active while also bonding as a family. To make a family walk more enticing, make a game out of it – something to look forward to each time you are out.
- Have a Dance Off – Crank up the music and get your dance on! Move the furniture aside, put on their favorite tunes and have a full-out family boogie.
- Have a weekly sports night – Pick one night a week to get the family up and moving. Set up a neighborhood game of kickball or take a weekly bike ride.
- Take Advantage or Family Fitness Nights – Join in at local gyms that offer family fitness nights and events. Every 4th Wednesday at Jada Blitz we have “A Family Affair” – a family fitness class geared towards kids.
- Sneak Workout into other activities – instead of riding in the cart in the supermarket, have your toddler walk. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs when possible.