The Food Nanny: Get your kids moving

08/03/13 at 09:15 AM | 0 Comments

The easiest way to stop avoiding movement is to embrace it. Look for opportunities for movement in your child’s day. If you instill good habits now – a love of walking, skipping, running –  your child will be much more likely to be active for life. It amazes me that we have come to a point where our kids can demand mobile phones from the age of eight, in the name of security or independence, yet we will not let them out of our sight, allow them to climb trees or explore, even when they are in possession of the all important mobile.

When we exercise we can feel our heart beating and we get out of breath. When this happens we expand our lungs and heart muscle, and both organs benefit greatly from the exertion. This is the basis of aerobic fitness. Our children require such fitness for health, regardless of their weight. If they need to get to a healthier weight , exercise also uses up excess energy which, in combination with better eating habits, gets quick and easy results.

Children need one hour of aerobic exercise every single day. Do yours achieve this? Break it into three or four parts for your child to make it more practical. For instance, in a day, your child might have had two ten-minute play sessions at school; they might have played chase inside for ten minutes after homework; and you might briskly walk to the shop later on to get bread for tomorrow’s lunch and drop them off to play outside with their friends on the way home. In all, they should, with your guidance, have achieved well over the requisite hour’s activity by the end of business that day. If we put in this effort now this will become their norm, and it does no harm to parents either!

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