Children & Obesity
Tips for Living Healthy
a special feature from *Debra Orringer, Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Obesity is considered an epidemic in America. And, obesity in children has more than doubled in the last 30 years according to the Center For Disease Control. Without help, obese kids become obese adults, and are more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. With simple lifestyle changes and forming new healthy habits, we can make 2014 a year of health. Yes, we can lead by example and empower others to do the same. After all, let’s aspire to give this generation of children and their children a legacy that obliterates the horrible reality of obesity. Here are some simple tips.
- Serve more fresh fruits and vegetables
- Eat a nutritious breakfast every day — an egg for protein, cooked with some spinach and tomatoes for the carbohydrates, and served with a slice or two of fresh avocado for the heart healthy fat.
- Eating real foods and whole foods rather than processed breads, snacks and sodas makes a huge difference in health. For example, reaching for a real apple with a scoop of natural almond butter, as opposed to an apple-flavored breakfast bar, provides a myriad of better nutrients.
- Use something besides food as a reward for yourself and your kids. Buy them new sneakers to run and play, instead of going to McDonald’s or KFC.
o Physical activity is very important. Kids and adults need about 60 minutes each day. It does not have to happen all at once. Several short periods of activity during the day are just as good.
o Do you ever watch kids play on the playground? They move incessantly. As adults we tend to lose that playfulness a bit. So try skipping next to your kids. It’s hard not to laugh when you skip. Play tag, hula hoop, or just dance. “Throw your hands in the air like you don’t care”.
- Research healthy choices. Organizations like, “Let’s Move” or “Healthy Initiatives” are great resources to help kids and adults learn about making a change.
Generational obesity is common, due to lack of knowledge on what it takes to live healthier. More often than not, to make a change it simply takes education. And we are inundated with education on this very subject. If you Google the word, “obesity” 73 MILLION hits come up. Obviously this is a topic that is very widely thought about.
Making healthier choices doesn’t mean that you have to pay hundreds of dollars on gym memberships, fitness equipment and gourmet foods. There are many local gyms that have affordable memberships, and if you are lucky to live in a climate conducive to being outside a lot, go for it! For children, there are many after school programs to get them moving. Search for groups and volunteers in your area that help with healthier initiatives.
Making your life and your children’s life a healthy one is quite simple. Educating yourself and others, healthier food choices and physical activity are the key components. Be the beacon of health.
*Debra Orringer, MSfrom Naples, FL, is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with 20 years in the fitness industry. She has managed the wellness programs at the Kennedy Space Center as well as consulted for several national fitness companies, authored articles, and retains a myriad of advanced level certifications. Debra works as a Wellness Coach for Isagenix.
For further comments contact Debra at:debo@321GetFitt.com