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Helene Goldnadel

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Family Activities to Reverse Child Obesity by Helene Goldnadel

Millions of children today are suffering from obesity in America. This is not an epidemic brought on by a virus or bacteria. There is no vaccine or drug that can cure it. But it is a serious health problem on average costing families thousands of dollars in added medical expenses each year. That doesn't speak to the shortened life expectancy, heart disease, diabetes and other ailments directly related to obesity. This is an epidemic brought on solely by a huge shift in our diet and lifestyle in the last century. Our poor diets have been accompanied with an increasing sedentary lifestyle. This is something that is not out of your control. There are family activities that can help to reverse child obesity. What is needed is the resolve and commitment to act.

 

Our bodies are well adapted motion machines. We were designed to be in motion. Before the computer video game age children would be more active in their play. True, TV time had to be limited, but this was not as big a problem as we see today. The habits learned by children will be with them well into adulthood.

 

  • Activity does not need to be time spent in a gym lifting weights or jogging on a treadmill. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, it is just hard to convince your child this is fun. If you want your child to start burning up those calories you should not make exercise time a chore-it should be fun. As a matter of fact, stay away from the word exercise.
  • Try different things and see what your child takes to and likes. Play a game of tag or hide and seek. Go to the playground and climb the monkey bars. Go for bike rides or take nature walks. Involve your child in activities that interest you because you will be more motivated to join in.
  • When possible, try to take the activity outside. This will not only get you away from your TV or computer, but will also get you some needed sunshine and vitamin D. Make being active out-of-doors something your child looks forward to and enjoys.
  • When beginning an exercise program, don't overdo it. Try it for a short time period and see how it goes. Continue to extend the time gradually. Don't do this instead of the video games but in addition to them. You want your child to want to have fun being active, not something that is forced on them and seen as a chore. You want to develop this active playtime into a regular activity.
  • Water activities are great in summer or warm climates. Swimming, water polo, relays or water balloon games are all fun. Make a family outing to the pool, lake or beach. Teaching your child to swim at an early age will not only help to keep them fit but will help prevent accidental drowning accidents.
  • Put together a scavenger or treasure hunt that involves other kids in the neighborhood. Having playtime with other children will also help your child develop important social skills as well as help keep off those unwanted pounds.
  • Group sports activities are good but are not the only type of organized activity for your child. Maybe your child would be interested in dance or ice skating. Give your child a chance to see if they like it. Show support for whatever your child chooses.

 

Helene Goldnadel is of the view that you can win the fight against obesity in your child. It will take a commitment on your part, but the rewards will be many fold. Not only will your child develop a healthy lifestyle but you will have fun doing it.

Also read: Teach Street Smarts without Making Your Child Fearful

 

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