Healthy Kids= Healthy Future Adults
Is it just me or are kids nowadays less active than when you were a kid? I can remember as a kid I would play outside literally all day and my grandmother would call me inside from the house at sundown for me to come inside eat dinner, take a bath, and get ready for bed. Today I barely see children outside playing at all and it’s alarming to me as a health and wellness professional.
LET THAT SINK IN….
The national physical activity recommendations for children are detailed here:
Children ages 6-13 years old: cardio 60 mins, bodyweight exercises 2-3x’s a week, and resistance training 3x’s a day.
Children ages 1-5 years old: physical activity for 180 mins per day.
As you can see it is very important for children to stay active even from an early age such as toddlers.
As a fitness and wellness professional and a mother myself, I know the importance of keeping my 4 year old son active and it’s a mission for me so that he’ll become a healthy adult in the future. It all starts at a young age. The younger a person adopts a behavior the easier it’ll be for them to continue that behavior into adulthood.
Now I want to give you some tips on how to become a model for today’s youth so that they can grow up to be healthy adults in the future
#1 Live a healthy lifestyle. This is KEY for raising healthy kids! There has been a major spike of childhood obesity among America’s youth over the past few decades. It’s not a surprise that most overweight children have overweight parents. Yes! I just stepped on some toes sorry not sorry! (although some overweight children do have metabolic syndromes and I’m not talking about that situation). As parents we have to model a healthy lifestyle so that our children can grow up healthy. If your eating fast food constantly so is your child, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, so does your child. Let’s face it parents it’s our decisions and actions that determine our children’s physical health.
#2 Participate in age appropriate activities. Being active does not have to include going on family long distance runs. I mean seriously your child is like 3 years old he or she isn’t going to make it too far on a long run. Make sure that you're choosing age appropriate activities to do with your child. My son loves to ride his bike while we walk our dog. When he is with us I never go over a mile because I know he isn’t going to make it and he’s just gonna be tired and frustrated.
#3 Make it fun. Being active should be FUN not a task. What does your child love to do? Doe he or she like to play hide and seek? Ride a bike? Go to the park and play with other children? Make the physical activity fun for them.
#4 Track movement. Be conscious of how much activity your child is getting a day. Don’t let a day go by without making sure they have been active in some way or form for at least an hour a day.
#5 Ask questions. If your child is in daycare or school ask the administrators about their physical activity program. How much play time will the child get during recess? These questions are important and don’t be afraid to ask!
#6 Eat healthy meals. I get it, children can be picky eaters. Trust me I know I have a four year old who sometimes eats what's on his plate and then refuses to eat the next day. It’s hard as a parent to make sure our children are eating healthy meals. One thing we do in our household is we do not make separate meals. Whatever I cook we are eating as a family. I make meals and keep our toddler’s eating habits in mind and go from there. Trust me when a kid is truly hungry they will eat what’s in front of them they will not starve themselves. Just make sure the meals are balanced.
#7 Turn off the screen! Children’s screen time should be monitored and limited so that they are not just sitting around all day watching tv or playing on an Ipad or video game. Turn off the screen after 1-2 hrs per day!
#8 Get more sleep. Growing children need a lot of sleep in order for their bodies to grow and be healthy. Make sure your child is going to bed at an appropriate time. My son has had an 8 p.m. bedtime since he was born because I believe in the importance of sleep for their growing bodies and mind.
#9 Acknowledge barriers. Sports can be expensive for kids, but there are other ways that children can stay active. There are many free options out there for children and low cost options. Look into different resources to find activities that fit your lifestyle.
#10 Stay consistent. Leading a healthy life if a lifestyle not something you do for a few weeks then quit. Create these positive habits within your child by being consistent. Yes it can be hard and there will be days where you don’t have much time or even feel like keeping track of how active your child has been. That’s ok we all have those days, but try to be as consistent as you can be.
Our society needs healthier kids more than ever because these children will be our future. Do you take the vow today to be a leader of creating healthier children?
Download my 7 day free workout today and if you have kids in your life have them do some of the movements with you ;-)
**referenced from IDEAs Fitness journal :https://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/to-grow-healthier-happier-adults-raise-fit-kids?ACE_ACCESS=8d84c444b079fd56c927913afec70945