On average every day, 8- to 18-year-olds spend four hours watching TV, videos, DVDs and prerecorded shows; more than one hour on the computer; and almost one hour playing video games.
Two out of three kids have a TV in their bedrooms, and those who do stare at the tube almost 1½ hours longer than kids who don’t.
Many parents are equally guilty. They sacrifice exercising for watching TV.
One of the best ways parents can be role models for their children is by staying active and exercising regularly.
Physical activity has many benefits.
- It helps burn calories instead of storing them as body fat.
- It helps keep blood sugar levels within normal range.
- It helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- It helps strengthen bones and muscles.
- It relieves stress and improves sleep and mental health.
- It boosts self-esteem.
- It improves attitude.
A good goal for adults is to work up to exercising four-six times a week for 30-60 minutes at a time.
Children 2 and older need at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. This doesn’t have to be done all at one time. It can be accomplished throughout the day in shorter bursts of activity.
Remember, exercise has so many health benefits that any amount is helpful.
Kids enjoy all kinds of physical activities.
Some children enjoy the social aspects of being on a team, such as soccer, gymnastics, basketball, T-ball, softball, bowling and dancing.
Other children prefer group activities such as jump-roping, playing tag, or hide and seek.
Kids may also enjoy bike riding, walking, skating or playing on the jungle gym.
The whole family can participate together in many of these activities such as hiking, swimming, walking, bike riding and bowling.
Central Kentucky has many parks, biking trails, sidewalks, pools and nature centers available for families to enjoy and utilize for the purpose of getting exercise.
And when the weather prohibits outdoor activities, feel free to pull out the Wii, Xbox or other gaming system or DVD, but make sure you choose a game that allows your family to be physically active.