If you want to make a difference, you need to have support and this means your family. In order for lasting efforts to occur, having a solid support team is the best way for you to stay on track, connected and on target in creating a healthy lifestyle. There is a scary fact out there that many families are not centered around a healthy lifestyle, food comes in the form of fast, easy and cheap and gaming has taken over playing outdoors.
The easy fix for this is to create healthy, active and educated children about nutrition and exercise. To create ever-lasting change in America regarding our health, fitness levels, and high levels of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease,this issue must be addressed where they are created...in childhood and our nation's children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity has more than doubled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. More than one third of children and teens are overweight or obese in America. Immediate health effects include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and psychological problems such as poor self-esteem.In addition, childhood obesity can also lead to the long-term health effects of adult obesity, heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, stroke, cancer, and osteoarthritis. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we are on a slippery slope regarding obesity, rising healthcare costs, and the future health of America. Unfortunately, health and nutrition is not a topic that is highly emphasized in our education system and until it is, this lifestyle and knowledge must be learned by parents and passed on to our children as early as possible.
Many times it seems hard to know how to teach them when you are just learning yourself. Here are some tips on how to get everyone involved !
-Take the family shopping and use it as a learning tool. Teach them what foods are made from nature and how to read food labels. Let them get creative and choose foods that they can make a special meal for the family. Give them some sort of control over what they are eating.
-Make meals that are easy for them to get involved. Even if it's just handing you food or washing them in the sink. When they have involvement they are now proud and more willing to eat them.
-Make a homemade garden. Plant herbs, spices, and veggies and let your kids help take care of them as they grow. Teach them how to make healthy meals from the foods they grew.
-Education is key. Teach them about what foods are proteins, carbs, and fats. The more they can understand and identify foods they now have the power to make choices on their own.
-Encourage involvement in sports. Let them try them all and see which one is their niche. Each sport will require a different level of attention span and personality type so considering whether it is slow or fast paced with less down time, individual versus a team sport can help steer you in the direction of the sport that suits them most. Make sure to give them positive reinforcement after each session. Helping them practice their sport is also a great way to strengthen their interest in the sport itself and to provide children with the parental approval and bond that they are often seeking.
The future health and fitness of America starts with its future leaders, our children, and that in turn, starts in the home. With so many adult physical transformations being publicized on social media, it’s very popular to see the phrase “it’s never too late” in regards to fitness. Now, I think it’s time that we start focusing on the belief that “it’s never too early.”