As a former first grade teacher, I watched first hand the factors contributing to the growing epidemic plaguing our youth—childhood obesity.
From a lack of healthy nutrition in and outside of the lunch room, to the practically obsolete physical fitness programs, we are now paving the way for a future of unhealthy individuals with shorter life spans than ever before.
The numbers of obese children are staggering, leading the United States government to rank it as a “critical public health threat.”
Over the past three decades, its rate has more than tripled, with approximately nine million children over the age of 6 considered clinically obese. Overweight children are at the highest risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life.
Children become overweight for a variety of reasons. The good news is-- almost all of these causes can be prevented.
Genetics do play a role in body type, but children whose parents or siblings are overweight are at an increased risk of becoming overweight themselves, due to family behaviors, such as over eating and under exercising.
A well-balanced diet and consistent activity level are crucial to insuring overall good health—physically and emotionally.
Obesity and positive self-esteem are an unlikely duo, but health and happiness go hand-in-hand.
Physical activity not only burns calories, but also builds strong bones and muscles and helps children sleep well at night and stay alert during the day.
To increase your child’s activity level try these tips:
–Limit the number of hours he/she is allowed to watch television, playing video or computer games, and talking on the phone.
–Get him/her moving by playing games, such as hide-and-seek, jump-rope, or bike riding.
–Find fun activities that the whole family can take part in, never making exercise seem like a punishment or chore.
–Parents buy the food, cook the food, and decide where food is eaten.
Try these tips for a healthy, balanced diet:
–When buying groceries, choose fruits and vegetables, rather than cookies and microwavable snacks.
–Have children help in food preparation, and sit down together for family meals.
–Limit the number of times you eat out, especially fast-food restaurants.
Sedentary lifestyles and overeating have laid the foundation, but the staff at Abbeville Snap Fitness is implementing a summer program to kick-off the beginning of a community-wide movement.
“Kid-Fit Boot Camp” is a fun-filled fitness camp providing a sports enhancing environment with obstacle courses, strength and conditioning drills, and cardiovascular endurance training. In addition to structured physical activity, certified personal trainers will teach children the importance of feeding and refueling their bodies with healthy food choices.
Children will be given the tools and techniques for becoming healthy and happy. It is our job to lead by example; therefore, parents of children attending the boot camp are invited to workout at Abbeville Snap Fitness FREE during the kid-fit boot camp – who better to lead by example than the most influential person in your child’s life – you!
Abbeville Snap Fitness, in conjunction with Vermilion Football League, is hosting the one week kid camp for boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 12, beginning Monday, July 19 at 8:45am. Pre-registration is a must, as space is limited. Please call Jill or Daniel, at Snap Fitness, 893-0009 for additional details and to reserve your child’s spot.