Getting into Shape as a Family

The statistics are alarming. Since 1980, the rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled. In the U.S. today, 12.5 million children ages 2 to 19 are obese. That’s 17 percent. From sugary drinks to processed food and a more sedentary lifestyle that includes video games and TV, kids are more prone to gaining too much weight today than ever before.

It’s hard with our busy schedules to set aside time to exercise and it’s even harder to set aside time to make sure our kids are getting the amount they need, but that’s exactly what needs to be done in order to reverse the childhood obesity trends. With it being National Exercise With Your Child Week, we will take this time to focus on the little things we can do every day to make sure kids are getting the physical activity they need to be healthy.

As with many things in life, kids need a good example to look up to. If we spend our days in front of the computer or TV instead of focusing on getting proper exercise, children will follow our example. That’s why it’s not called National Make Your Child Exercise Week. It takes parents and adults giving the proper example and initiating action to get kids moving.

It doesn’t take as much effort as you might think. There’s no need to drag your child to the gym, program the treadmill and count calories. Something as simple as standing up, turning off the TV and going for a walk together as a family can make a big difference.

You can plan fun outings that involve physical activity, like hiking, riding bikes or swimming. Set reasonable goals, especially starting out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend kids between the ages of 6-17 should get 60 minutes of physical activity per day. That may seem like a lot, but it is achievable.

If you’re worried about your child’s weight or just want some ideas and suggestions for how to get your kids moving and healthier, we’re here to help.

Bingham Memorial pediatrician Dr. Cory Brown can help you create a plan to get your kids on the right track to staying healthy. Call his office at 785-3838 and schedule an appointment to get your questions answered and give you peace of mind.

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