Kids need around 60 minutes a day of movement. This can include aerobic exercise (running and walking), muscle strengthening (pushups), and bone strengthening (jump rope or jumping jacks). One way to get in some aerobic exercise after a long day of school is to head out for a walk after dinner. Plan on a quick 30 minute walk instead of sitting down to watch tv. Make it fun by racing with your kids, jump roping to music or seeing who can do the most jumping jacks.
Another fun way to keep your kids active is to get them a pedometer. This allows kids to see how many steps they are taking each day. This can also motivate them to move more and help them be aware of their health. Set goals for how many steps they can walk in a day or week, trying to improve each day.
When the weather gets cold there are still indoor activities to keep your kids active. Video games aren’t what usually come to mind when you are talking about keeping your kids healthy and active, but if you are using a Wii or Kinect gaming system kids are able to move around and burn calories. It has actually been shown that kids who play video games that require you to get up and move burn up to 200% more energy compared to regular video games you play sitting down. Remember that it is still important to keep screen time down to a couple hours a day or less.
Helping your kids be active is a small way to keep them healthy and create good habits that will follow them as they become adults. By instilling good healthy habits in our younger generation it can help curb the illnesses that are taking over our country today, such as diabetes and obesity.
If you would like more information on staying active contact Dr. Evan Merrill and make sure to visit our office at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle LLC if you have any foot health concerns. If you need an appointment just call at 541-776-3338 or make an appointment online.