By Kate Horney
I believe that healthy kids are raised by healthy moms. As parents, we play a key role in our children’s choices and behaviors.
That’s why I’m excited to have my good friend and pediatrician (plus a mom herself), Dr. Rach join us on the blog to share about some healthy habits that we can work on making a part of our children’s lifestyles.
Not sure where to start? Let’s make it easy and begin with some essential new habits that will revolutionize your children’s health.
Healthy Kids Challenge Part 3
When it comes to children, being active can involve active play as well as exercise.
Kids that have more than 2 hours of screen time a day have been associated with an increase in health problems such as:
- obesity and diabetes
- behavioral difficulties
- irregular sleep patterns
On the flip side, children that exercise regularly tend to have:
- stronger bones and muscles
- leaner bodies and are less likely to be overweight
- lower risk of developing diabetes
- are able to deal with emotional stress better
- have better sleep
I know how much better I feel when I am physically active myself.
So what can I do to make my kids more active?
- Make them play outside when the weather is suitable. Cold weather does not mean they can’t play outside, just bundle them up.
- Try out different sports/activities to discover what they like to do.
- Include them in your own physical activities. If you like to walk, take your kids with you now and then.
- Be a good example. Be active yourself and tell your kids about the benefits you feel in your body when you are active.
- Involve their friends and make it fun. Ask other moms in the area what their children do to be active. Organize active play dates at parks, have friendly soccer games, or get them to join a friend’s team.
- Give them specific fitness goals and reward them when they reach them.
How active should my kids be?
The National Association for Sports and Physical Education have given the following guidelines:
|Toddler||1½ hours||30 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)|
|Preschooler||2 hours||60 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)|
|School age||1 hour or more||Break up into bouts of 15 minutes or more|
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