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According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the National Institute of Health there are now more than 12 million obese and overweight children in the United States. This statistic has more than doubled over the last twenty years! Obesity has put children at risk for serious problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and psychological and social problems.
Fortunately, parents can take steps to engage energetically in the cause to prevent this epidemic from growing by exercising together as a family. University of Michigan exercise physiologist Dr. Audrey Hazekamp suggests parents teach their children by example, by getting up and making exercise fun. Doing so will keep the whole family physically and emotionally healthier. Sharing physical activities with your kids isn't just a good way to get your heart pumping and burn calories, it's a great way to build family bonds. When you exercise together as a family, you are creating memories your child will treasure and studies show children are more likely to exercise if you make it part of there everyday lives. Ensuring your child will grow up to be a healthy adult is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them.
Improve the "strength" of your family and make the conscious decision to be a positive role model for your children by beginning and enjoying family workout time. This can include anything from riding bikes together to stepping outside for a walk while your child rides his tricycle or pedal car. I tend to get my exercise just from chasing the kids around on their ride-on toys. The kids love to switch from tricycle to scooter to pedal car. They don't consider their playing exercise, but fun!
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