Childhood obesity is a fast growing concern for parents. Colorado Springs may be the #1 Fittest City, but that doesn’t take into account the children in the state. In four years, the state’s kids have gone down from 3rd to 23rd fittest in the country. With lack of activity–many kids preferring to stay inside and play video games–and kids wanting to eat potato chips instead of carrots, it’s no wonder children are having a tough time.
Encouraging your children to move more may be akin to getting them to do homework, but if you make it fun, they may be more enthusiastic. If they do enjoy video games, there are many games out to encourage kids to move. Nintendo’s Wii has many games where you can move, for both kids and adults. Wii Sports has games like Bowling, Tennis, and Boxing that can get kids moving while they have fun. Wii Fit has Yoga and other fitness routines for kids or adults, and it’s fairly easy to use. For the PlayStation 3, there is PlayStation Move, which is also easy to use.
Having a Family Fitness night might also be a way for the entire family to get moving and get healthy together. While the weather is still fairly good, grab a soccer ball and head to the backyard or local park. Pick teams and play! When the weather gets colder, move indoors and play Hide and Seek, or you can play soccer with a balloon instead of a ball (just clear out the breakables first!).
Schools also need to take action against obesity. Physical Education plays an important part in getting kids moving. 30 minutes each day for kids and teenagers up through at least 10th grade is needed, as well as having healthy choices at the schools that have vending machines. In many states, it’s mandatory for students to have P.E. through their Sophmore year.
Diet also is to blame. Statistics show that families who eat dinner together at home are more likely to eat more healthy than those that don’t. If you don’t have time to make dinner (home late from work or school), you can make many meals in a Crock Pot. Assemble your ingredients in the morning, put them in the Crock Pot, set the timer to Low, and off you go. Dinner is ready when you get home. For healthy snacks, if your kids want something sweet, grapes, apple slices, and oranges are good options. String cheese is another healthy choice, along with yogurt.
Let’s get our kids moving, and get the obesity rates moving in the other direction!