Lt Col Reynolds
Along with a healthy diet, plenty of physical activity should be included as part of family lifestyle. This encourages kids to develop healthy habits, and can make those healthy habits second nature. Dr. Patel, can you tell us about the importance of physical activity for families?
Sure. It’s important for parents to encourage physical activity and lead by example. Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Come up with activities you can do as a family, like taking a walk or playing in the yard. Signing your child up for organized sports is another good way to keep them active on a regular basis. Encouraging these habits during early childhood can pay off when your child becomes a teenager and begins to make more of their own decisions.
Helping your kids make physical activity a priority means cutting down on time in front of a screen. It’s important to set limits on television, computers, video games, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices that promote inactivity. In addition to encouraging inactivity, these devices are often associated with what’s known as distracted eating, which easily turns into overeating. So when kids do watch television or play video games, it’s important to discourage them from eating at the same time.