Becoming healthier by eating better foods and becoming more active top parents resolutions for New Year’s each year because physical fitness involving active play and sports is important for our children. It is a common concern that stems from unhealthy eating habits and also from being overweight.
According to 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 16% of Texas youth in grades 9 through 12 are overweight with another 16% being obese, and 55% of these Texas youths are not meeting physical activity levels recommended for their age group. The CDC lists recommended guidelines for physical activity for children on their website. One of the most important ways to keep your kids physically fit is to exhibit that behavior for yourself. In other words, following through on your choice to become healthier will have the benefit of rubbing off on your kids.
After making your resolution, it’s time to put together a plan to help you achieve your goal. So using the above as an example, lets put a list together to move us towards our goal of spending eating healthier meals as a family. These items are some listed in the Strategic Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Texas: 2005-2010 book adapted for you.
- Decrease TV and computer screen watching time. Reminding yourself to reduce the amount of time you and your kids watch television and surf the web, will also help you remember to do something for your health. Replace that time with some sort of physical activity like a short walk with the family through the neighborhood, clean out that section of the garage you’ve been meaning to get to, or taking a bike ride with your kids.
- Assign active chores to family members. This one piggybacks on the above suggestion. Chores like, picking up toys, sweeping the front entrance area or sidewalk, etc let you do something physical each day and as a bonus, your home will be that much cleaner.
- Plan active family outings. There are hiking trails in the Franklin Mountains and Hueco Tanks areas that your family may enjoy. Ascarate Park also has four different areas including playgrounds and swings that encourage physical activities for you. You might also try a brisk walk around the lake while you’re there.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Try one or think up some that are reasonable for your family and go for it! What is your new year’s resolution as a parent and how is the progress going? I want to hear from you.
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