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This Month In Body
  • Building Better Bones
    Along with calcium, vitamin D, and healthy lifestyle choices, exercise plays an important role in helping to build, strengthen, and maintain bone mass. While all exercise is good for you, some exercises are better than others when it comes to bone health. Read >>
  • Reach the Next Level
    A lot of people talk about reaching a plateau in their weight loss or fitness goals. Maybe you’re in the same place or want to avoid getting there. So what should you do? Read >>
  • Training Gone Virtual
    It’s understandable if you’re hesitant to meet with your trainer online. But before you write it off and let your fitness goals go down the tubes, here are a few reasons why you may want to give virtual training a try.  Read >>
  • Raising Active Kids
    Are your kids getting enough exercise? Probably not. Here's how to change that. Read >>
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Raising Active Kids

Kids need exercise, too. Get them moving more with these suggestions.

It’s easy to think of exercise as something only adults need to do more often. Back in the day, as soon as kids got home from school they ran around the neighborhood or rode their bikes until dark. As a result, they got plenty of exercise without even trying! These days, many kids sit around playing video games and watching television all day, and it’s negatively affecting their health.

Children ages 3 to 5 should be active throughout the day with free play, and kids ages 6 to 17 need at least an hour a day of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise. For most adults, exercise includes lifting weights, running on a treadmill, or jogging around the track. But for kids, exercise is more about play or team sports. Are your kids getting enough?

Most likely, they aren’t. How can you change that, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are a few suggestions.

Limit Screens

Most kids spend hours every day sitting around looking at a screen, whether it’s the television, phone, tablet, or computer. If you’re looking for a way to get your kids more active, limiting screen time is an excellent choice. For the health and development of their brains and emotions, children younger than 18 months should not have any screen time and kids aged 2 to 5 should have no more than one hour a day. For older kids, the less screen time, the better, but it’s up to each family to decide.

Download apps or software to set time limits on phones, tablets, and computers. Keep screens out of bedrooms and turn off all screens during mealtimes and at a set time each evening before bed. By reducing their screen time, you build in opportunities for them to be bored. And when kids get bored, they’re more likely to get up and get moving!

Enroll in Sports

Unfortunately, COVID has closed down sports leagues in many communities, but when things open back up, sign your kids up to play a sport. Team sports provide a great opportunity for kids to be active, learn to be a team player, and have fun. Baseball, softball, soccer, swimming, basketball, ballet, and volleyball are a few options. See what your gym, local recreation department, or your kids’ school has to offer.

Be Active as a Family

Don’t expect your kids to be fit if you’re not. When parents exercise regularly, kids are more likely to be active as well. Tired of everyone sitting around all the time? Create an active lifestyle as a family. Exercising together is a great way to have quality family time. Make it a regular part of your daily or weekly routine. Go on hikes, bike rides, or walks together. Shoot hoops or pass the football. Play tennis, badminton, or pickleball. Whatever physical activity your family enjoys, go for it!

Make It a Competition

Kids and adults love a little friendly competition. So get outside and see who can jump the highest and farthest, run the fastest, or ride the longest. Who can do the most jumping jacks, sit-ups, or push-ups in a minute? Who can hold a plank or wall sit the longest? Invest in smart watches or pedometers to track steps to see which family member takes the most steps in a day. Set a goal and give prizes to whoever achieves the activity goal each week.
With these small steps, you’ll help your kids take giant leaps toward lifelong good health. So get to it!