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Steps to Avoid Becoming a Couch Potato

By Stephen R. Farris

Are you a couch potato? If so, you probably started at a young age, at least that is the consensus. However, there is still hope to help you get off the couch and back out into the world. 

But let's start by taking a look at other family members first. Your children. 

If they are ages 6 to 11, studies show that they are probably getting the required 60 minutes per day of activity (roughly 80 percent), which is good. But the study also showed there was a considerable drop in the percentage when kids had a school holiday or when at home on weekends.

By the time kids reach 11, the percentage of daily activity drops to 20 percent. Inactivity, combined with a poor diet can lead to obesity, something that has become a problem here in the United States, especially among children under the age of 18.

The good news is that you can do your part in helping your kids become more active, whether they like it or not. In the long run, it might actually save them from future health problems. 

Sports

Get your child involved in sports at an early age. Most cities have sports leagues for kids set up by parks and recreation departments, or through boys and girls clubs, YMCA, or private youth leagues. Costs can range from minimal to high, depending on the sport and the type of equipment needed. Most organizations offer scholarships so that low-income kids can have the opportunity to participate.

After School

Another thing to consider is instead of just picking up your kid from school and heading back home, use a few days out of the week -- or make it a daily thing -- to take him/her to the park and let them play. If your child is older, both of you can benefit, as there are plenty of tennis courts or basketball courts available in cities for public use. Play a few sets with them or hoop it up. Plus it'll be great fun and a way to help you bond more with your child.

Limits

With smartphones, tablets, computers -- the places where kids can stream movies and play games, limit the amount of time they can spend using those devices. Make sure they get plenty of outside time at home as well. 

These are just a few steps you can take to make sure your child is being more active instead of relaxing on the couch all the time. Now, back to you, but it seems that we've already covered a few things that will get you off the couch as well.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Surprise, Ariz.

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