Being physically active used to easier before the world of cable TV, video games and computers. Now a-days, many families have a more sedentary lifestyle and a lot more health-related problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. Childhood obesity is now epidemic and more than a third of American adults are clinically obese.
So, what can families do to counteract these problems? One is to change the family diet to include healthier foods and fewer fast food meals. Two is to exercise as a family. Theres lots of ways to include physical activity in your daily living and to add new routines that you and your kids can depend on to keep everyone moving.
Walk to school when possible. If weather and time permit lace up your walking shoes and walk with the kids to school. Older children can walk by themselves, or may want to organize a group of friends to walk together.
Physical activity video games. Video games have gotten a lot of the blame for keeping kids and adults on the couch instead of actually moving. But there are newer games that are designed to get everyone dancing, exercising, and playing virtual sports. These games can be a lot of fun and exercise for the entire family.
Build strong bones Bone strengthening exercise is important for all family members. Besides lifting weights (free hand weights are inexpensive compared to a gym membership) there are other activities that get the heart beating, burn calories and build bone such as jumping rope, volleyball and gymnastics. Any weight bearing activity will work.
Enjoy local parks. If your neighborhood has a park, you can make going a reward for smaller children. A good grade? Lets go to the park! Put away your toys without complaining? Thank you for a job well done. Lets go the park! Its also a great time to talk with and bond with your child.