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Kids may require lots of food fuel to stoke their metabolism, but they still need to be active. An hour of moderate activity each day is recommended. Though some kids love to ride their bikes or play basketball, far too many prefer to plop down in front of the television after school and often, they don't budge til dinnertime. Parents may need to intervene to keep things moving. When kids find activities that they enjoy, they're more likely to stick with it and they'll do it more often.
Here are some tips to keep them moving:
- Limit their hours of TV or computer games - if they want to watch/play beyond that, have them stand up! (This is especially helpful to kids with weight issues. Standing up burns more calories, and this may make them more inclined to go and do something active rather than standing to watch television)
- Step it - set a good example and take the stairs when you're together (rather than elevators.)
- Go for a family walk before or after dinner; in addition to exercise, it's a great way to spend more time together, sharing your news of the day.
- If it's feasible, encourage them to walk or ride their bikes to and from school.
- Spend less time at the movies and more time playing soccer or swimming.
- Involve them in walking the dog, yardwork, housecleaning - anything that's active.
- A small investment in basic equipment can make a big change. Help your children find a new activity they love: hula-hoop, mini-trampoline, jumprope, kickball, badminton, roller skates, basketball or swimming!
- Set a good example and be an active parent -- eat healthy and exercise!