I remember growing up as a kid, I used to go outside as soon as I woke up and got dressed, only to return to the house right before the street lights came on. It was so much fun meeting my neighborhood friends at the community playground. The first thing I would jump on was the swing and then make my way to the slide. We would challenge each other to see who could do the most pull-ups. When I was not meeting friends on the playground, I would ride my bike to my childhood best friend house, which was 10 miles away. It seems like those days of children going outside to play are long gone.
P.E. has even changed in the school systems. We use to have P.E. everyday in elementary, middle and high school. Now they barley have it twice a week. Who remembers having to take a physical test starting in elementary school in your P.E. class? The test required you to run a mile, do as many sit-ups and pull-ups as you could do in a minute, and it tested your flexibility by seeing how far you could stretch your hand out between your legs. I don't believe they even do that anymore. P.E. is where I learned the basics about basketball, tennis and softball.
Fast forward a few years and technology has definitely taken over our children physical education or outside playtime. Some children would rather stay inside and play the latest gaming system or computer, watch TV or just sleep for most of the day. The problem with this is childhood obesity. According to the CDC study report, the percentage of children between the age of 6 and 11 years old in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents between the ages of 12–19 years old who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.
Ways you can help your children become more active and live a healthier lifestyle:
Make sure they eat a healthy breakfast each day
Prepare a healthy lunch and dinner.
Limit eating fast food.
Give them healthy snacks instead of candy and chips.
Make sure they drink more water, instead of juice.
Encourage your children to participate in extracurricular activates.
Going on a family bike ride, walk or run.
Limiting their TV, video game and computer time.
Kids who are active will:
have stronger muscles and bones
have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat