I recently read a statement that was rather startling:
Today’s children are likely to be the first generation to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents due to obesity and other related diseases.
Surprising, isn’t it? Even with all the marvels of modern medicine.
We may think that doctors and medicine will prevent these health problems. But the fact is that more than 15% of the nation’s children between 6-11 years old are overweight and 1/3 are either obese or at risk of becoming obese. The lifetime risk of coronary heart disease is more likely among those who are persistently overweight throughout their adolescent years.
A rather sobering fact, wouldn’t you say?
So my kid likes to spend a lot of time on the computer, you may think. It’s not that big of a deal, is it?
It may not be that big of a deal now, but if he continues the habit of little exercise, it could become a lifestyle, and if it’s not stopped, it could become a big deal.
We have a problem that needs more than good doctors, health insurance plans, and good books about exercise.
The answer is to get our kids moving. (Good eating is the other piece to that)
Physical activity helps control and prevent a range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Even small amounts of physical activity can improve your child’s health. Studies have also shown that kids who have greater levels of physical activity are less likely to smoke. Experts recommend that a child or adolescent must participate regularly—four to five times or more per week—in moderate to vigorous sport activities. And if your child doesn’t play organized sports, there’s a whole bunch of other activity options that can help him get the exercise he needs.
Here’s some more facts that should encourage you to get your kids off the couch:
- Female athletes in grades 9-12 are less than half as likely to get pregnant as their non-athletic peers.
- Athletes have higher self-esteem and a more positive body image.
- High school athletes are less likely to use cocaine or psychedelic drugs than non-athletes.
- The facts are daunting: there are around 300,000 deaths a year in the U.S. associated with overweight and obesity.
Not only is getting your kids active good for them now, it’s also good for them later. Even if your kid never plays college sports or finishes high school sports, studies show that adults are more likely to be physically active during their free time if they participated in organized sports as children.
The one thing that should motivate you to get your child moving is the dangers of him not moving. Start now getting your child off the couch and you will begin instilling in him a lifestyle that will help him make healthy choices for life.
Get my free new report: Sportsparents’ Guide: 55 time & money-saving tips guaranteed to make your life easier. You’ll also get regular sports parenting tips each week and a weekly parenting tip. Sign up here.