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Keeping Kids Active in Winter

Good health and activity go hand-in-hand, so make exercise a family affair. Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

A prescription for healthy kids could include something like this: Be active every day, play hard and have fun.

This kind of regular exercise builds strong muscles and bones. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it also strengthens kids’ hearts and lungs, which may help protect them from heart problems as they get older. And active kids are more likely to sidestep obesity and the health problems that go with it.

Make it happen

The AAP recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for children. That can seem like a lot if your child isn’t used to exercise.

That’s where the fun part comes in. When kids are enjoying themselves, that hour—or more—of exercise can fly by.

These tips from the AAP and other experts can help get your kids
moving:

  • Encourage them to join a team sport, such as soccer, basketball or volleyball.
  • Take them to places where other kids are playing, such as public parks and school playgrounds.
  • Keep sports equipment handy. If you have a jump rope, a basketball, tennis rackets or a softball and glove in the closet, your kids can easily grab them and go.
  • If it’s a safe route, encourage your child to walk or bike to school. Make sure your biker wears a helmet.
  • Have kids help around the house. Dusting, gardening or vacuuming—they’re all good habits that double as exercise.
  • Offset screen time. Kids sitting in front of a TV or computer are, well, sitting. Challenge them to log at least as much active time as screen time. Enforce it by limiting screen time to two hours a day or less.

A family matter

You can give your child a head start on an active lifestyle if you make it part of your family’s routine. Bundle up and add a family walk or bike ride to your evenings and weekends. Take the kids to the local ice rink, play some one-on-one at a gym or go bowling together. Or play an old-fashioned game of tag or hide-and-seek.

With activities for kids and adults, ValleyCare’s award-winning wellness center, LifeStyleRx, is just the place for families. Let a certified trainer at LifeStyleRx turn family training into an opportunity to get fit and have fun together! Visit www.lifestylerx.com or call 925-454-6342 today.

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