Obesity has spread through our country like some sort of plague. It may not appear as dangerous as The Black Death, but obesity is directly responsible for a large number of the health crises Americans face. The CDC reminds us that the two main causes of obesity are almost completely avoidable: an unhealthy diet and pure laziness inactive lifestyle.
The obesity rate in our country is rising rapidly and the only way to stop it is simple; start with the future. Our children are the future and they depend on us to prepare them for a successful, healthy life. We may not be able to encourage working out, per se, until our kids are of an age to understand what that means and do it safely. We can however encourage something I call active play. Active play provides the foundation for an active lifestyle as young adults.
Games such as tag and red light/green light are some obvious choices for get-up-and-go games. Swimming, biking, nature hikes, sports and roller blading are also fabulous ways to play and stay physically fit. Anything from golf to baseball, basketball or soccer can provide excellent ways to actively have fun. Younger kids love playing follow the leader, and this is a game that has limitless possibilities! You can have them doing jumping jacks, summersaults, sprints and even yoga! Rainy day options can include dancing, bowlingÂ and playing the more active games for Nintendo Wii (WiiSports and WiiFit are two veryÂ popular ones). These are all activities that the entire family can enjoy; toddlers, kids, teens and adults alike can spend quality time together and it doesn’t have to involve the television!
Children possess a natural desire to run and jump. As parents, we need to nurture this desire and encourage active play. Laziness is a learned behavior and we need to enforce positive health habits while we can. If we don’t, we may lose the chance to teach the next generationÂ a valuable lesson; that we only get one body in this life.
The first steps we take to protecting ourselves are to eat well and play hard!