Kids’ fitness week: Does your little one get enough exercise?

Many adults have a good knowledge about fitness for themselves, but when it comes to their own kids they don’t make the grade. This week I’ll take a look at fitness tips for kids, starting with tips to get your kids moving more.

It may seem hard to believe for people in their 30s or older, who were kids before the Internet age really took off but, according to a recent study by the YMCA, more than half of America’s youth today do not get enough physical activity. The biggest reason for this is that parents are not making their kids’ health a priority
In the YMCA’s report, a survey of more than 1,600 parents with kids between the ages of 5-10, revealed that 58 percent of children spend less than four days a week playing outside because parents find it more convenient for them to spend time in front of a television or computer.
“There are many small things that make it very difficult for families to get an hour of physical activity a day,” said Dr. Matt Longjohn, the YMCA’s US Director of Chronic Disease Prevention. “Among the factors you could blame are technology, time and money.”
Parents need to make sure their kids get 60 minutes or more per day of exercise time. It doesn’t have to all come from playing sports or actives that cost money.
Simple tips that grown-ups should do themselves can help, such as take the stairs instead of an elevator, parents parking farther away from the store to get the kids to walk longer distances and, of course, more play time outside instead of sitting in front of the computer or TV.
America’s obesity rate among youth is at an all-time high and so is the diabetes rate among children. It is an absolute necessity that children get the proper amount of exercise, in addition to eating healthy, to stop this trend.
Some parents in the survey said the tough financial times caused them to cut back on activities they used to pay for their kids to be in.
However, the bottom line is parents should look for any chances for kids to be active instead of being involved in sedentary activities.
“It can be smaller opportunities, minutes that can add up to preventing a disease,” Dr. Longjohn added.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at