The previous post discussed the changes in eating habits needed by children, this post is going to be exploring the exercising habits children maintain. There is no such thing as bad exercising. Exercise habits needs to be changed, thus teaching children the importance of getting their daily amount of exercising.
Most children need sixty minutes of exercise daily (“How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?”). This should be aerobic exercise that is increasing their heart rate and strengthening muscles and bones for lasting effects (“How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?”). Forming exercise as a regular habit at a young age can help improve fitness and control weight (Parker et al., 10). This should be part of their daily routine, and should continue to be as they grow up.
For all children exercise needs to become a norm. There are many different activities, so a child needs to find one that they will enjoy. The hardship is when a child realizes that they are overweight or obese and feel self conscious to exercise because they will look funny (Parker et al., 3). This is extremely wrong since these are the children who need to exercise the most. In some places this issue was eliminated because they established overweight sport leagues. The children are now not excluded from activity but are able to participate in a way that will be healthy and not make them feel out of place (Parker et al., 3). These children are going to get better by burning the calories that they are consuming.
As mentioned in an earlier post, children are growing up in a time when technology is adding convenience to everyone’s life. It does have negative effects, but the reality is that technology is not going away and only going to expand in the years to come (Warren and Smalley 57). This means society needs to adapt the technology and help incorporate it into children getting physical activity (Warren and Smalley 57). That is exactly what Nintendo did by setting up the Wii system. The players use their bodies with the controllers so they engage in movements (Warren and Smalley 57).
Another example of using technology to increase physical activity was done by a whole community. In Washington State they conducted a survey about youth healthy lifestyles and learned that there was a significant decrease in physical activity after the sixth grade (Drew). Shohomish, Washington created a coalition to work to end childhood obesity as a community, and came up with a strategy which used technology (Drew). They distributed to children PowerPod wristbands which track the amount of physical activity and gave information about how else they can improve their health (Drew). When done exercising the child can connect the PowerPod to a computer which is linked to a special system which will tell you how many points you earned by exercising (Drew). They also have the ability to see how many points their friends have (Drew). They created a competition to get children motivated to exercise by being able to challenge their friends (Drew).
This shows that there are positive ways to show children how important exercising is. Just like eating healthy they need to learn why they need to exercise. There are many innovative ways people are trying to make everyone involved get fit. Exercising is a way to curb the obesity epidemic since it helps burn calories while they are working out and afterwards so it helps put the body in balance. The next post will explore the role of parents to curb the epidemic.
Drew, Kristen. “School Officials Launching New Program to Fight Childhood Obesity.”
Komonews. Komo New 4, 26 October 2013. Web. 1 November 2013.
“How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
USA.gov, 9 November 2011. Web. 2 November 2013.
Parker, Lynn, Emily Ann Miller, Elena Ovaitt, and Stephen Olson. Alliances for Obesity
Prevention: Finding Common Ground. Washington D.C.: The National Academics Press, 2012. Print.
Warren, Jacob C. and K. Bryant Smalley. “Always the Fat Kid: The Truth About the Enduring
Effects of Childhood Obesity.” New York: Pagrave Macmillan. 2013. Print.
The previous post showed the relationship children are learning to have with food in the United States. Children are learning about overconsumption and big portion sizes as the norm. But, altering behaviors can have an affects on the obesity epidemic. In the United States there is a wide variety of food to choose from, so children need to learn to make the right choices for proper nutritional benefits (Wardlaw et al., 17).
Children should be ingesting foods that come from the six main food groups each day. The major food groups are grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans, and oils (Wardlaw et al., 37). When choosing foods it is best if they have phytochemicals, which are “substances that have significant health benefits” (Wardlaw et al., 37). Examples of foods that have phytochemicals are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (Wardlaw et al., 37). Children’s diets need to have the addition of fruits and vegetables which are filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These come naturally and are good for the health of the child now and in the future (“Fruits and Vegetables”). Depending on the age of a child the serving sizes differ between the food group daily intake (“Fruits and Vegetables”) Children need to learn how much should be eaten. And learn to eat until they are full and not any more. One way to avoid overconsumption is to plan out their meals (Wardlaw et al., 38). By knowing exactly what they are going to eat for the day, it will limit their freedom of being able to choose what they want to eat. So, instead of eating processed, high fat foods that are not nutrient dense, they will be able to have a plate of fruits or vegetables that will be low in fat and calories and fill them up just the same as other foods (“Fruits and Vegetables”).
Children need to make healthy decisions when eating. They should have a healthy eating plan which has variety, balance, and in moderation (Wardlaw et al., 39). Children are going to get bored if they are told they must eat the same thing over again, so by finding a variety of healthy foods it will make eating more enjoyable to eat. When eating, one should find a balance of food from the different food groups. Each of the food groups help to supply nutrients to the body and are important to maintain a balance in the body. A very important idea that a child needs to learn is eating in moderation. Eliminating unhealthy food is not realistic, but choosing some healthy options is possible. If they are going to choose something not healthy they should only have a little because of the lack of nutritional benefits. Eating habits are a personal choice made by the child and they need to make it a norm to want to eat healthy. Having good eating habits will give them a more pleasurable life than if they are eating unhealthy foods. They next post will explore exercising habits within children’s lifestyle.
“Fruits and Vegetables.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. USA.gov, 12 September
2013. Web. 2 November 2013.
Wardlaw, Gordon M., Anne M. Smith, and Alice K. Lindeman. “Contemporary Nutrition: A
Functional Approach.” New York: McGraw Hill. 2012. Print.