It is estimated that between 15-25% of school children in the United States are overweight, placing them at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Only about half of all Americans aged 12 to 21 exercises regularly. Regular physical activity can help children be healthier now and in the future. Daily activity can help your child maintain a healthy body weight and reduce his or her risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. Children who are physically active have more energy, better attitudes, and stronger muscles and bones. Physical activity improves brain function, which can help in school. Plus, being involved in physical activity promotes positive self-esteem and self-image in young children. The better they get at an activity, the better they’ll feel.
What better time than now to get the entire family to begin establishing healthy lifestyle habits? This month is a time to celebrate healthy living habits that last a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems. Health conscientiousness should be a lifelong commitment and adults serve as role models for children to adopt healthy living patterns that involve nutritious food choices and regular indoor and outdoor activities that enhance cardiovascular health.
Involve your kids in grocery shopping and teach them how to make wise and nutritive food choices. Actively engage the whole family in physical fitness-promoting activities and make regular exercise a part of your family’s daily routine. A family that stays fit together grows strong together! Other benefits of exercising as a family include:
1. It is easier to fit exercise into all of your lives when you do it together
2. Helps alleviate stress
3. Strengthens family bonds
4. Teaches children how to take on challenges and failures
5. Promotes healthy habits that last a lifetime
Celebrate Family Fit Lifestyle month and make it your new year’s resolution to engage your whole family in a healthy lifestyle.