30 Minutes of Daily Physical Activity Can Prevent Obesity For Kids Too

Girls playing on a swingsetCan you remember the last time you saw children in your neighborhood playing outdoors? I seldom see kids riding bikes, playing on swing sets, or shooting a few hoops in or around my neighborhood. It’s sad because I live in the same area where I grew up and kids were always outside back then. It seems a large percentage of today’s kids would rather stay indoors, which makes me wonder if these are the same children who are statistically obese.

Many of our nation’s children are not getting any exercise at all — at home or school – and it shows.

I personally dealt with my own weight issues, beginning at age 10, so I know what it’s like to be an overweight child. However, there were major differences in our daily routines. I was obligated to participate in a daily physical education class; it was part of the curriculum until I started junior high school so I didn’t have a choice in the matter. It was good for me, whether I liked it or not, and the activity increased my heart rate for 45 minutes or so every Monday through Friday.

Once I was home from school, I’d have a quick (unhealthy) snack and immediately went outside to ride my bike with neighborhood friends. It’s just what we did. We all kept active. Starting in fifth grade, I developed a weight issue, but it was because I simply consumed too much unhealthy food. During that time, I still wasn’t considered obese. Sadly, my obese years took hold during high school, when P.E. class was no longer required. Soon my bike was hung in the corner of the garage and my new mode of transportation was my Ford Mustang. Exercise became a thing of the past.

When I was a high school student, back in the 1980s, there were very few other classmates who were obese like me. If I looked inside an area high school today, I’m positive that I would see more than a few of obese students – most likely a third of the class would be categorized as obese.

These young people are already on the road to unhealthy lives. From my own experience, I know that many of these individuals will become larger as the years go by, their entire lives will be affected by this.

Don’t think that being MORBIDLY OBESE doesn’t affect almost every aspect of your life – it does. Being morbidly obese will lessen your energy, self esteem and confidence levels. This obesity influences how others treat you, often affecting your career and income levels. And most importantly, we all realize how much obesity affects your health. Often I wonder why THAT isn’t taught in school.

My hope is to teach children and their parents that as little as 30 minutes of daily physical activity could prevent obesity from occurring in your child’s (or your) life … and cure it too! Remember how much we played outdoors when we were young? Those were great times, and our children deserve the same! Take the bike down off the wall, air-up those tires and the basketball too – it’s time to PLAY!

Photo Credit: plural

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