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Is Your Child Getting Enough Exercise?

When children are not raised to value regular exercise and activity, they are more likely to develop weight problems and other health problems. There is also more of a risk that they will grow up to be adults who are inactive. Getting your child to be more active is easier than you might think. It doesn't need to be a battle; instead, focus on making it fun!

Here are some parenting tips to keep in mind about kids' fitness:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children need at least one hour of physical activity each day. This needs to be aerobic activity, such as playing sports, running around, briskly walking, dancing, etc. Activity reduces obesity in children.
  • It's also a good idea to encourage your child to do some sort of strength training, three days per week, such as gymnastics or doing push-ups.
  • Getting your child to be active each day is easier if you let him pick what he would like to do. Find fun activities and seize the opportunity to get your child involved.
  • Using an exercise or activity chart will help your child keep track of his activity goals. Your child can log what he intends to do each day, and then check each activity off as he accomplishes it.
  • One of the most influential ways to get kids to be active each day is for you to be active, as well. When exercise is a family activity, your child will be more likely to take it seriously.
  • In addition to kids' fitness, don't forget about nutrition and healthy eating. Your child can be active all he wants, but if he is not eating healthy, he will be more likely to become obese.

Getting kids to meet the minimum requirements for exercise and activity each day is a goal that all parents should strive for. Exercise promotes health, releases stress, and creates healthy habits that will likely last a lifetime.