Fit Kid Creation

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It’s no longer news to any of us that obesity has taken over America.  As we witnessed a rise in fast food sales our cholesterol and blood pressure statistics were sure to follow.  Educating the public on healthy eating and exercise became priority number one for doctors, personal trainers and the makers of gadgets, gizmos and fad diets that claim instant results.  In the last three decades one would think that with proper education and the implementation of such would result in a healthier America.  American continues to get fatter!  We’ve failed as healthy responsible adults but it’s not too late to turn the tides.  Our children need us now more than ever!        

If we’ve failed as educators in getting the masses up to speed on how to defend ourselves from this ever growing monster, it’s not too late to re instill the same education that has gone to the wayside for most of us, in our children.  Very similar to fighting in the deserts overseas, winning the war may not ensure the evolvement of a people’s civilized nature.  To lead by example and grow with a people will ensure that they take to what it is we are so “forcefully” trying to impose.  To instill isn’t just to teach but to grow.  We need not only to teach our children healthy eating habits and the importance of exercise but we need to grow with them by leading by example.  I feel this will be the last ditch effort in reversing the effects of the “fat plague” we’ve created.
When educating our youth we must keep in mind that the expectations for ourselves may not be the same for our little ones.  When taking a child through their first fitness assessment, I never set goals in the same fashion I would an adult.  As adults, we often have body fat reduction or muscular development goals.  With our youth, keep in mind they are still growing.  Their hormones, nutrition and activity throughout childhood will determine their adult body types.  Below are some key points to consider when encouraging your little ones to be just like you; a healthy, responsible adult! 
 
1.)  Make fitness fun – For most adults, fitness is something we’re told to do by our doctors, your trainer or significant other and normally is not something we think of as “fun.”  Fitness becomes fun when we’re at our goals or our bodies are where we want them.  With much of America already “in the hole” when it comes to our fitness goals, it’s easy to think of fitness as a chore or task.  Our children need to be shown that we as parents enjoy our fitness and must speak it aloud so that they too will someday love the workouts that they will be taking part in for fitness is not a choice; it’s a lifestyle that must be adhered to.

2.) Participate and encourage youth sports – Along with burning a ton of calories trying to keep up with the little ones, you’re setting the example for them to continue living an active lifestyle!  Encourage a variety of sports for one sport may speak to a child more so than the next.  Sports make fitness fun.  It turns hard work and discipline into a game and also teaches teamwork, social networking skills and the needed development of hand and eye coordination.

3.) Lead the nutrition example – Children only know what “tastes good” by what we teach them.  People in other countries eat bugs for crying out loud!  Stop teaching our children that Burger King and McDonalds is a treat!  If you want to die a slow death, eat your “death in a bag,” in private.  You’ll be saving your child’s life.

4.) Encourage outdoor play – Set guidelines around playtime.  Save homework for sundown and limit the use of video games when the sun is shining.  With the budget cuts in our school system’s recess programs and gym classes, our children need more than ever to be active outside of school. 

5.) Set daily chores – Set daily expectations for your children concerning basic duties around the home.  Along with the extra activity our little ones will benefit from doing their chores, we can develop reward systems that will teach our children how to earn what they want so badly by first completing a task not to mention it instills discipline and a positive work ethic that will last with them into adulthood.

6.) Never set fitness expectations – We shouldn’t be putting weight or body fat goals on our children EVEN if our children are already battling the bulge!  We instill insecurities in our children when they feel that they are inadequate due to being over or underweight.  As parents, don’t obsess over the scale because your children will soon follow your lead.  Remember that our children’s bodies are still growing.  We need to only show them what we want them to emulate.  Lead by example!