health & wellness
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American Heart Association
provides tips to get your kids
up and moving.
oday, about one in three
American kids and teens is
overweight or obese — nearly
triple the rate 50 years ago. Among
children today, obesity is causing a
broad range of health problems that
previously weren't seen until adult-
hood. These include high blood pres-
sure, type 2 diabetes and elevated
blood cholesterol levels, as well as
psychological effects, such as low
self-esteem, negative body image and
However, there's good news: Obesity
can be stopped, and it doesn't take
high-tech treatments or cutting-edge
medications. The solution begins and
ends with the daily decisions we make.
Parents and caregivers are essential
decision makers when it comes to the
nutrition, physical activity and health
needs of their children.
The American Heart Association
recommends that all children older
than 2 years old participate in 60
minutes of physical activity a day.
If your child or children don't have
a full 60-minute activity break
each day, try to provide at least two
30-minute periods or four 15-minute
periods in which they can engage
in vigorous activities appropriate to
their age, gender and stage of physical
and emotional development.
Here are some activity tips to help
get your kids moving.
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Certified American Board of
Facial Plastic and
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Around The House
Get your kids active while doing
housework. Place a sticky note on all
of the items that need straightening
up (like the kitchen table, the sofa, the
bed). Your child will collect each sticky
note after they clean the item. Make it
a friendly competition to see who col-
lects the most stickies. You could even
offer a prize. Your kids will be physi-
cally active, helping with household
chores and having fun!
Get the entire family involved. After
dinner, assign everyone a task in the
cleanup. Everything from clearing
the dishes, loading the dishwasher
and putting away leftovers can get the
family up and moving. Finish off the
evening by going for a family walk or
doing group physical activities like
stretching. Not only will everyone be
out of their chair, but this will also be
fun bonding time for you and your
Get Kids Outside
Make exercise an easy choice. Try
using physical activity to counter
something your child doesn't want to
For instance, make it the routine
that your child can ride a bike for 30
minutes before starting homework
after school. Your child will beg for 20
more minutes outside!
Find an activity they love. Some kids
just don't like competing in sports.
That's OK; there are lots of other ways
to be active. Try swimming, danc-
ing, cycling, skateboarding, karate,
walking, jumping rope or even horse-
back riding. Encourage your child to
explore multiple activities to find one
they really enjoy.
Build confidence. Some kids might
be embarrassed to participate in sports
because they don't think they're good
enough. Find time to practice together
and boost their confidence.
Learn more about health rates in
Michigan children and get tips on
better nutrition and physical activity
for the whole family at the American
Heart Association's website, www.