Do Your Part to Help Fight Childhood Obesity
Get Your Kids Involved in Sports Activities After School
The rate of childhood obesity has grown alarmingly over the years. Over the past three decades, obesity rates in the United States have tripled, leaving one in every three children overweight. These children will be at a heightened risk for health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma. In addition, one-third of all children born during or after the year 2000 will one day suffer from diabetes. Fortunately, there are plans for fighting this obesity epidemic. Governments, both local and national, are working with schools and organizations to revamp physical education programs for children as well as provide more health and nutritional information. However, a key component to getting children in shape is you, the parent. You have the power to set your children on track to a lifetime of healthy habits and prevent obesity from ever becoming an issue in your child’s life.
It is not enough for children to exercise at gym class during school. In order to get children serious about exercise, they must participate in physical activities outside of school. Participating in sports activities with your children is not only an opportunity to spend some quality time with them, but also to improve their physical fitness. Basketball is a particularly good sport to play with your child because it requires vigorous exercise. A combination of running, jumping, and catching, basketball does not give participants any opportunity to slack off. Full-court basketball burns roughly 850 calories per hour, a very good rate if practiced often. Soccer is another good choice for getting your children in shape as that sport also requires the players to be in constant motion.
However, this should not be interpreted as saying that some sports are ineffective for keeping children in shape. Baseball looks like it involves very little physical activity, yet it burns up to 390 calories per hour and improves hand-eye coordination, so it will improve children’s abilities at all sports to a certain degree. You should introduce your children to as many sports as possible to find out which ones they prefer and to prevent them from growing bored with a particular game. If you do not have access to sports equipment, try enrolling your children in after-school program activities for various sports.
Besides getting your children interested in exercise, you must introduce them to good habits in all aspects of their health. Restrict their fast food consumption (and eliminate it completely if possible), prepare balanced, nutritious meals, and teach them to eat healthy portions. Children must combine proper eating habits and sufficient exercise in order to have a chance at a healthy lifestyle.