Friday, April 9, 2010

Teach Your Kids Healthy Habits By Example

When your kids see YOU being active and having fun, they are more likely to be active themselves. And when those healthy behaviors start at a young age, there is a good chance they will continue as a lifelong habit. On the flip side, an inactive childhood will result in an inactive adult life. Additionally, parents should control and limit the amount of time their kids spend in front of the TV, playing video games and being on the computer. A great activity that involves the TV is Exploramania's award-winning Gymathtics DVD. Parents can join their kids in this fun, interactive way to incorporate fitness, learning and fun!! Exploracise Mats are also a great way to add cushion and creativity ttansforming the floor into an active learning space.

There are many ways, in addition to Gymathtics, to incorporate activity into your everyday lives. Find those activities that your family enjoys doing together. It can be as simple as going for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner or putting on some fun music and dancing together. On the weekends, you can go to the park, swim together or go for a family bike ride. If you have younger children, there are many indoor play areas where you can sign up for classes or go for open play. These places are especially great when it’s too hot or too cold to be outside with the little ones.

We also know that our eating habits affect our kids. The best way to maintain a healthy weight and avoid weight-related health problems is to make healthy choices at the supermarket and include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Limit processed junk food sugary drinks. If they aren’t in the house, you and your kids will learn to live without them or consider them special treats every once in a while. It’s amazing how quickly a person adapts to a healthier diet when they have the right choices in front of them and temptations are limited. Young children tend to eat only when they are hungry. If we give them too many unhealthy options, not only are they likely to gain weight, but choosing junk food over healthier alternatives will become a habit that over time will be more and more difficult to break. For children this could result in a lifelong battle with obesity and other health problems.

Regular activity and healthy eating go hand in hand. Parents set the example that their kids will follow and it’s never too soon or too late to start. If you find all of this overwhelming, start by making small changes one at a time. If you are already doing well for yourself and your family in terms of activity and healthy eating, kudos to you! Keep it up. Please share your successes and struggles with us in the comments below. We can all learn from each other.

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