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How to Switch Kids On to Activities

By Sandy Schroeder

The need to keep moving to stay healthy is clear, but how is that playing out for our kids? Healthychildren.org presents a picture of today's kids that is disturbing. Here are their findings.

Overview of Today's Kids' Activities

  • Teens and children spend more than 7 hours per day on TVs, computers, phones and other electronic devices
  • Only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day
  • About 1 in 3 children in the U.S. are overweight or obese
  • Overweight teens have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight adults

The American Academy of Pediatrics says parents play a crucial role in helping children become physically active.

Ways to Get Started

Assess where your child is - Your child may already be biking, running and participating in sports. Or you may see ways they can be more active.

Talk with the child's doctor - Their doctor can do a health review and suggest good activity choices.

See what the child enjoys - Whatever works for them now is a good place to start. If it's a natural and they love it, expanding everything may be easy.

Join the fun - Play with your kids and encourage them to try new sports. Show up for their practices and practice with them on the weekends.

Dial back electronics - Limit screen time with TV, computers and games to 1 to 2 hours a day. Use the free time to get outside and get moving.

Free up time for exercise - Check your children's schedules to find activity openings. They may already be overbooked.

Add great toys - Make sure young kids have the balls, trikes,and bikes they like, along with safe open play areas.

Keep everything low key - Keep it light and fun with no pressure as you encourage kids to be more active. Kids gravitate to things that fit them.See what that is and help them expand upon it.

Keep it age-related - Pick and choose the best sports available for their age to ensure that it is comfortable and successful. Avoid mixing them into older groups with larger kids, which risks injury and may discourage them.

Go with their choices - You may have loved soccer, but they may be clearly drawn to basketball. Follow their lead, make sure they have the right equipment, and support their efforts.

Don't give up - When you are not looking, they may drift back to their electronics. Try to intersperse activities and keep looking for the ones that they really enjoy.

Join them on the weekend - Show up for their games. The more active you are as a family the more likely they will be active too.

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

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