When I was growing up- we played outside. I remember being called in for a dinner break and then the thrill of getting to rejoin my friends for more play time afterwards in the summer evenings because it was still light outside. It was a different time. Our parents weren’t afraid we would be abducted, and we weren’t afraid we were “missing out” on electronics. Actually there were no captivating electronics. In 2012 a healthy lifestyle is almost counter-cultural.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has very specific recommendations about developing a healthy weight for children. Unfortunately, many parents don’t have access to this information because they don’t ask about their child’s BMI at doctor visits. Seventy percent of parents of severely overweight children do not recognize that their child is overweight. If parents don’t ask, physicians don’t tell. Consider this a public health announcement- AAP encourages parents to:
1. Limit screen time (Electronics) to 2 hours or less per day.
2. Encourage one hour or more of daily physical activity. This does not have to be consecutive.
3. Develop a habit for children of eating breakfast.
4. Regularly eat meals together as a family.
5. Prepare meals mostly at home. Limit take- out and fast food.
6. Encourage children to eat 5 fruits and vegetables daily.
7. Switch to low fat dairy products.
8. Limit sugar sweetened drinks.
Think variety when incorporating fitness into your healthy lifestyle with your child. Take a walk as a family, ride bikes. Go to the park and play, the bowling alley and bowl. Take a nature inspired vacation. Once you start thinking healthy movement you can be far more creative than anything a gym membership can provide for your family- and you will get better buy in!
Inspire others! Please share your family's fun fitness ideas by commenting.