Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in some areas of the world and is steadily rising in others.
Our children follow our lead, if we’re active and eat healthily as parents, the chances are very high our children will naturally copy us.
Ideally all under 5’s should be active for at least 3 hours a day, that’s encouraging a further 1 to 1 ½ hours more if our children are to improve their:
- heart and lungs
- movement and co-ordination
- learning and social skills
- help build strong and robust bones
- and maintain a healthy weight
According to the Department of Health, NHS, Department of Health, Social Services, most UK pre-school children (those able to walk unaided) currently spend up to 2 (maximum of 2 ½) hours a day in vigorous physical activities.
As parents we can continue to lead structured or unstructured play, ensuring it involves all the major muscle groups, for example, the legs, buttocks, shoulders arms and trunk. Encourage energetic play and bouts of fast activity, like climbing frame in the park, riding a bike, running hard, football and chasing games. Walking and skipping to the shops, a friends home, the park or to and from school is excellent too.
With the pull of tv and and computer games evermore enticing, aim to build a balance of activity and rest in everyday. Try and encourage the buggy to be the last resort, similarly the car seat. Walking will bring health benefits for everyone, so wrap-up against the Winter weather get out and enjoy the fresh air!