The rise in kids’ obesity is definitely becoming more of a problem, but it doesn’t have to be. New guidelines were recently released that…
I just recently read the summary on youth obesity and how it’s becoming more of a trend. The research I read said that 20% of the four year old population is now obese. I’m not going to link to the article because I haven’t seen the actual research page to see how scientific and true it is, but it was pretty interesting to see how the rise in obesity is taking place in not just adults but also kids, and very young kids for that matter. So I want to give you some tips on how to get the kids more active to make sure they stay healthy.
One of the most important things is that a variety of physical activity needs to be done by kids. Kids need to be engaging in aerobic, muscle strengthening and bone strengthening activities. I know that when we think about kids going outside playing, we don’t really like to break it down into exercise, or physical activity, but variety is important. First off, kids really should be active at least an hour a day. They should be engaged in physical activity at least for an hour, exercising, having fun, playing, just moving. I’m talking specifically about kids age 6 to 17 with that statement. So, let me go through some activities that kids should be involved in, and if they are missing any of these activities, encourage them to add them back in.
- Kids should be involved in aerobic activity. Now aerobic should be 60 or more minutes a day if at all possible, at least three times a week. Aerobic activities include things such as running, hopping, skipping, jumping rope, swimming, dancing, and bicycling. These involve the large muscle groups.
- The second type of physical activity is muscle strengthening activities. I don’t mean take them to the gym and work out with weights, but they should do things that stress their muscles and their joints. Those activities include playing on playground equipment, climbing tress, and playing tug of war. As they get older you can start using weights and resistance, but in early age, 6-12 years old, I really would suggest just playing on things that are stressing their muscles.
- Bone-strengthening activities are very important for kids as well. At their age is when they are strengthening their bones the most. You can do things such as running, jumping rope, playing basketball, tennis, hopscotch. Anything that puts force between them and the ground will help with bone-strengthening. It’s that impact that helps jar the bone tissue and make it stronger.
I hope that teaches you some things about your kids activity levels. I am going to discuss this topic a lot more in the near future and get into more specific guidelines regarding moderate intensity, vigorous activity, muscle strengthening and bone strengthening on a deeper level and separate things out between children and adolescents. In the meantime, if you have any questions or anything you want to know specifically about how your kids can be more active, let me know and I will make sure I include it in some of the future e-mails and future blog post.