Childhood obesity is a global epidemic.
In Malaysia, according to the 2011 statistics from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), obesity affects one in seven children. An alarming increase since 2006, whereby one-in-19 children were recorded as obese. In the United States, statistics state one in five children are obese, and figures have almost tripled since the 1980s.
It is very worrying to see these sorts of numbers on the rise, especially when we are living in a world with a lot more access to information and parents should be well informed on the dangers of obesity. Obese children are more susceptible to life threatening diseases such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Nutrition of course plays an integral role, as does leading an active lifestyle. Here are three practical ways to get your kids moving.
Be A Role Model
If you want fit and healthy kids, then you need to be fit and healthy. Your habits will help shape your children’s habits. If you exercise several times a week, your children get to see this. Also consider bringing them with you sometimes, so they can see what you do. Children very often follow parents in their footsteps. You really are key to paving them in the right direction.
Here’s a short video of my husband getting a little workout with our kids:
Encourage your kids to move more and sweat it out! Better still, exercise as a family.
Go On Adventure Holidays
Although a beach holiday and lazing by the sea all day might be something many of us would like to do, the truth is many people already spend too much time being sedentary in their day-to-day lives. With that in mind, use holidays as a way to get as much activity in as possible. For instance, you could plan a cycling holiday in Laos, Vietnam. And in order to prepare for this you would start cycling whilst at home to get the whole family ready for the holiday. Another example would be diving trips. This is a great family activity and provides endless table conversations too. Plus, there are life lessons that your kids can learn from playing sports.
Get a group of friends together and organise regular meet-ups that revolve around an activity. You can take turns in suggesting activities, which really helps you not having to always think of what to do. You get to kill two birds with one stone - as you catch up with friends, your kids are getting their dose of activity.
Remember, active kids are happy kids, and happy kids means happy parents. That in itself should be enough motivation to want active kids!