It’s a fact: At least half of kids do not take part in physical activity that promotes long-term health. Here’s another fact: Exercise is an important part of keeping kids healthy. Regular exercise helps kids:
- Manage stress.
- Build a positive self-image.
- Learn in school.
- Keep weight under control.
- Build and keep healthy bones and muscles.
- Get a better night’s sleep.
So get your kids moving! And you should move with them – lifestyles that are learned in childhood are more likely to stay with the child into adulthood. Changes in lifestyle are harder to make the older the person becomes. The best way to promote healthy lifestyles is for the whole family to become involved. Plan activity time into your family calendar. Ask your children what types of activities they like to do. We should all be moving our bodies 60 minutes everyday or most days.
Even low-to-moderate intensity activities for as little as 30 minutes a day can be beneficial. These activities may include:
- Climbing stairs.
- Playing outside.
Dancing is another fun physical activity. The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee, the new Kohl’s Healthy Kids: It’s Your Move! exhibit features a fun activity that will do more than get your kids’ toes tappin’. A large wall comes to life as two different physical activities appear. Kids must choose which one is more physical by hitting the corresponding button. It’s fast-paced, so it’s sure to get your kids moving!
-Colleen Schultz, education manager, Children’s Health Education Center