As a mother in the new millennium, I dreamed about the idea of a parent in a world where the streets are safe and parents can let their children run freely through the neighborhood, their bodies naturally challenged with the implementation of the play.
Even today, before slamming the car door faded and dropped the backpack on the floor, the TV is turned on and the last few hours of daylight disappears in the fog video games and over processed foods.
Even parents are concerned, good intentions can often stand helpless, wondering how to compete with the marketing genius and instant gratification. Exercise and carrot sticks have a hard time competing with Xboxes, SpongeBob and potato chips.
The evidence is all around us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention of disease, health too many North Americans are in danger due to an unhealthy lifestyle. (In www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity)
Recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of US adults 20 years - more than 60 million people - old fat. The CDC reports the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980.
My children are not obese - why should I care?
Your children normal, right? You are a parent alone. But in a world where walking is limited, PE program schools are being cut, and cars, elevators and buses eliminate our chance to exercise naturally, we need to make an effort to make physical activity a part of our day and the days of our children.
Despite all the benefits of being physically active, most Americans settled. (-www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/contributing_factors.htm). Children are inactive tend to become inactive adults. (In www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4596)
So, as a parent how do we get our kids moving?
"The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day."
The great news is exercise comes in many forms and can be very fun! With a little creativity you can easily add some fun physical activity into your parenting style.
1. Lead the way
You need for a good example. Children, especially young children, after their parents. So make sure you take care of your own health and make physical activity a priority in your life.
2. Do together
In overscheduled world today, we need to make sure we spend quality time with our children. What better way than to be active together. Because children cannot be alone roaming environment, parents need to play with them.
3. Make it fun
Wearing some music and dance. Playing tag. Roller blades. Basically just play. Provide them with toys and equipment that encourage them to become active while having fun.
Bicycles, scooters, hockey sticks and baseball bats will get kids moving and active. For preschoolers, ride on toys that exercising like pedal cars, big wheels and tricycles are always the decision of the parents.
4. Entertain them
Creating positive reinforcements with encouragement and support. Help them find sports and activities that build their self-esteem. Attending a sporting event they are and let them know you are the biggest fan of them whether they win or lose.
5. Turn it off
Of course, we need to limit the time our children watch TV and play video games. But make sure you do so in a positive way. If they are angry that you just turned off their favorite show, they probably would not be too excited about going out rollerblading with you.
Allow time for the display of time, preferably after homework is done and when the physical activity is completed, such as at night or on a Saturday morning, when the weary parent might need to catch a few extra minutes of sleep.
Add more physical activity into your family routine will help you feel better and you have more fun together. Most important, like your model of a healthy lifestyle will help inculcate the habit of a lifetime and your children healthy attitude exercise and physical activity.