Tuesday 22nd , 2013
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Did you ever imagine that you could be a major influence in resolving the child obesity pandemic?  Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.  One reason for this is because kids are spending more time watching television and playing video games and far less time being active.  On average kids in the United States spend about 20 hours a week engaging in television or video games.  The best way to prevent obesity is to stay active and eat properly.

763 Getting your kids to be more physically active seems like it should be simple enough with just enrolling them in a class or program that is filled with sports, games or other activities.  However, researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in England collected data from 30 studies related to exercise interventions in children which ultimately determined there was little to no increase in the overall level of physical activity for the kids involved.  Why?  That is hard to understand but it is suspected that many children compensate for the energy they used up during a structured activity by being extra sedentary afterwards.  Something that might help with this is to figure out the most effective time for these classes and programs so that they don’t augment the activities kids naturally do, such as running around and playing outside.

Scientific evidence points out that active children are more likely to be active adults.  Physically active children are less likely to be overweight and most fit children are generally less heavy.  Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.

764 So what is your role in all of this as a parent?  Your children look to you from the time they are infants in order to learn how to live and what sort of a life-style one should aspire to.  There are a wide variety of activities you can do to keep fit and if you are a fit parent it is most likely your child will learn to become a fit child too!  You might, however, feel like between work and family you just don’t have time to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise a day.  The truth, experts say, is that you don’t have time to not work out.  Getting into a regular exercise routine will give you more energy and ultimately help you complete your long list of To Do’s.  Besides the physical benefits of being fit, other perks include stress relief, improvement of one’s mood, and less likely to become depressed. 

So how do you fit it all in one day?  The answer for many busy parents is to schedule exercise with your children, rather than around them.  Some ideas for family fun include taking a family walk or jog or going on a bike ride.  Kidspace Children’s Museum also offers a variety of exhibits and programs that involve physical activity.  Taking a spin on the trike tracks, tromping around the gardens, and going up and down the Rain Drop and Wisteria Climbing Towers are just a few examples. Experts agree that if you keep exercise fun and varied you are most likely to keep at it and your kids will too.


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Julianne Sando, Special Events & Birthdays Coordinator, has been with Kidspace for over five years and in that time has helped implement unforgettable special events for thousands of children and families visiting Kidspace.  Prior to Kidspace, she worked as a camp counselor, after school program educator, soccer coach, and Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia.