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Raise your hand if you think child obesity is #kindofabigdeal

I work two jobs in two different schools every day. Monday through Friday. A junior high and a elementary school. September is “fight child obesity month” and everyday I see 7-year old children and 13-year old teens dealing with body sizes that are simply not healthy for them. Child obesity is not just kind of a big deal, it is probably the  issue that will keep this country from raising their health standards in the future.

But there are some simple ways to avoid and to get our kids back on track.And please, no excuses.

A quick google search brought me some cool ideas for exercises for kids of ANY age. Simple drills that can be made into fun challenges and games.

  • animal walking: pretend you’re in the jungle. Tell your kid you’re BOTH are going to pretend to be animals and you have to walk like them. Be creative. Lion, bear, snake, kangaroo, spider, tiger, elephant, giraffe, etc… all these animal types of walks (crawling, hopping, stretching…) can provide a simple, fun and efficient workout.
  • dancing hour: we do this one quite often here at home and it’s a blast. Some old school hip hop on the “gheto blaster” and Lucas all of a sudden becomes a breakdancer. Country music, rock and roll, classical… mix it up and have your child try different styles of dancing. It’s not only fun but it’s also a way to bring music in their lives.
  • sports: a game of catch, kicking the soccer ball around, shooting some hoops. Take your child to a park and enjoy some dad and son (or dad and daughter) time playing their favorite sport. If they don’t have a favorite sport yet maybe it’s a good time to introduce them to different ones. Try one each day and see what they like. But don’t force them to perform like super athletes. It’s more about getting them moving and having a good time.
  • the playground: there are some good parks all over the country. It’s really cool to see your child interact with other children and run around, jump over stuff, climb. Don’t be afraid to see them take a few tumbles, just make sure they’re relatively safe and let them enjoy.

I mean, there are a lot of options to get them off the TV or the video-games. Even those can provide some help. Today there are TV shows and some video-games that either motivate our children to exercise or actually make them do it. For the little ones you can try Yo-Gabba-Gabba. A TV shows that gets them off the couch and tells them to dance and get their wiggles out. And the Wii was a pioneer of interactive games and went even father by creating the Wii Fit. But now there are also other options out there.

Whatever you choose to do just keep this in mind: active kids make healthy adults.

Have a wonderful weekend,

~Gil

What about turning the TV and the video-game off for 45 minutes and playing outside

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