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Fitness for Kids

stew smith

America's children are overweight. Why? Because WE are! Two-thirds (66%) of Americans are overweight according to the Centers for Disease Control/Prevention, with 15-30% of the children either overweight or dangerously close to being overweight. That means that nearly 200 million Americans fall into the overweight category. We are setting a horrible example for our children.

According to a study conducted by Weight Watchers International Inc. and the American Health Foundation, 25% of American children are now officially overweight, and the youngest are especially at risk. These extra pounds are more than just a passing phase; another ADA study suggests that half of obese children will become fat adults.

"Obesity among children is increasing at an alarming rate, and the health consequences are very severe," confirms Karen Miller-Kovach, RD, chief scientist for Weight Watchers. Billions of dollars every year are spent on medical bills by overweight/obese patients due to (preventable) obesity related illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

What's behind the growing number of children who are now overweight? "Lack of exercise accounts for more than 50 percent of the problem," says Miller-Kovach. She also adds, only 30 percent of the problem is due to overeating or choosing the wrong types of foods. So, let's resolve to better ourselves, set the example, and get our children moving again.

Last week, I offered a solution -- a free 45-Day Beginner workout -- as part of the Get Started Again with Exercise article -- for free download. This ebook has workouts and ideas on how to get kids moving (as well as yourself) in the television room, at the playground, or at the high school track. There are plenty of fun activities to do to burn calories.

Some back yard ideas: Set up an obstacle course / cone track, etc...

You can also make an obstacle course using a slide, swing set, and an area to jump into a sand box. All of these are fun and when set to a timer, kids will want to beat their own time or their siblings, friends. The next thing you know kids are practicing to get better. Make the challenge and kids will rise to it. But it has to be fun!

For more info about the children's fitness program as well as your own, please feel free to email me at . Also, see my articles in the Article Archive for more tips on nutrition, weight loss, running, strength building, etc.

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