The United States and the world at large are currently faced with an extremely troubling epidemic: child obesity. In fact, according to recent statistics presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects a staggering 12.7 million children in the United States.
This epidemic of gargantuan proportions can be attributed to two main factors: poor diet and lack of physical fitness. Empty calories from solid fats and sugars contribute to 40% of a child’s diet currently. And while the CDC recommends that children should get around 60 minutes of physical activity per day, only one in three children get the recommended amount of activity on a daily basis. The lack of exercise is largely because children spend an average of seven and half hours per day staring at the screens of televisions, laptops, and mobile devices.
So what can be done? No child is immune to the risk of poor health. Helping kids establish healthy habits at an early age can set them up for a lifetime of health, happiness and success. If you’re looking for more ways to help your kids become more active, read on for some important tips:
Consider Summer Camp
Every year, more than 11 million kids and adults attend summer camps across the country. These are places where children don’t only make life-lasting bonds, but they also engage in some fun activities that promote kids fitness. In the course of just one day, children will engage in kids fitness activities that will have them moving. This kind of summer ritual reminds them of the importance of being outdoors and being active.
After School Activities
From soccer to flag football, there are several ways for your child to engage in physical activity throughout the school year. Again, this will enforce a positive habit and help them become passionate about fun and physical activities. Organized sports also improve confidence, social skills, and self-efficacy.
Lead by Example
If you spend all day on the couch, chances are, your child will want to also. Be active with your child regularly. Bond through fun physical activities such as long bike rides, hikes, and trips to the water park. Fun is guaranteed for all!