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Healthy, active parents often want the same for their children. But, parents have so much on their plate these days,that finding the time to encourage exercise takes a lot of effort. According to Parents.com it is important to start physical activity while your kids are young.
"When parents promote fitness as an important family value, preschoolers are more likely to remain active throughout childhood -- even as many of their peers turn to television shows and computer games," says Michelle May, MD, an advisor to the American Academy of Family Physicians' Americans in Motion fitness initiative.
"One in seven preschoolers is already overweight, and the number rises in the elementary- and middle-school years. Prevention begins at home."
A study reported by the Centers for Disease Control and as reported on ABC.com looked at the relationship of parents and kids being active together. Researcher Sarah L. Lee, PhD, looked at more than five thousand parent/child duos and their activity interactions.
Lee reports, “The good-news finding was that 78 percent of the parent-child pairings reported being active together at least once a week. The not-so-good news: 22 percent of the pairings reported no shared physical activity whatsoever.”
The CDC offers these recommendations for the types of fitness your child should be doing weekly:
“Aerobic activity should make up most of your child's 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day. This can include either moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or vigorous-intensity activity, such as running. Be sure to include vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on at least 3 days per week. Include muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least 3 days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes. Include bone strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, at least 3 days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minute.”
KidsHealth.org says there is a lot to gain from regular physical activity for kids. Here are their guidelines for encouraging kids to get moving: