BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Fitness and Health

Fitness and health go hand in hand, and this section of our health library is devoted to exploring the relationship between these two very important aspects of life.

Healthy Activities for Kids

Healthy Activities for Kids

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the prevalence of obesity in teens has tripled since the 1990s. Besides a higher risk for diseases, childhood obesity often leads to social discrimination and poor self-esteem.

More children and teenagers are turning to the T.V. and hand-held electronic devices to entertain them, helping to cause this shift in rising obesity rates. It’s important, now more than ever, to step outside and smell the roses once in a while instead of watching the great outdoors on T.V. or learning about it on the internet. There are many benefits of healthy activities for kids and spending time outside with your family is the perfect way to teach your children about healthy living.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that children and adults should engage in 60 minutes a day of physical activity. Every family is different so half the work will be to figure out fun and creative ways to fit physical activities into your family's routine; but don't worry; we will provide a list of suggestions and how to implement them into your daily routine.

When it comes to a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine, children may need a little push. Children usually do not want to eat their veggies or play outside (thanks to those little hand-held devices), but there are many benefits of healthy activities for kids and now is the time to take advantage of their abundant energy and talk to them about the lifelong benefits of healthy living.

It’s a good idea to start practicing a healthy lifestyle with them sooner rather than later while they’re still at that impressionable young age. It will help you, parents, get in shape, increase your energy, and prevent injuries and diseases. And it will help your children regulate their weight, burn their excess energy, develop good mental health and prevent against diseases as well.

Benefits of healthy activities for kids

It may be difficult to convince your kids to eat green vegetables or to be more active throughout the day, but it is necessary for proper growth and development throughout their childhood. The healthy lifestyle your child develops while they’re young will often translate to how healthy they’ll be as an adult.

Try these fun and flexible activities so you and your kids can be lean, healthy machines

Low stamina:

These healthy activities for kids are low-key and don’t require much stamina. They’re perfect for a lazy afternoon or for getting into shape.

-          Family walks around your neighborhood

-          Hiking. No matter where you live in the United States, hiking trails are not hard to find.

-          A nice picnic in the park. You can encourage your kids to eat healthy by cooking healthy meals with them too!

-          Go to the park or better yet, walk there. If you have pets, you can see if the parks around you are pet-friendly and go someplace that your whole family, including your furry friends, can enjoy.

Moderate to high stamina:

These healthy activities for kids are perfect for a hot, summer afternoon or a fun weekend adventure.

-          Swimming—whether it’s at the pool or at the beach. If you go to the beach, you can dig for shells, build sand castles or play in the sand—all healthy and fun activities for kids.

-          Yard work with your children. They’ll love being able to help you with something and they'll feel accomplished when they're done.

-          Teach them your favorite sport—baseball, football, hockey, soccer, basketball, etc. They'll enjoy learning about something that you're interested in too. It's a great way to bond with each other.

-          If you’re a runner, go for a run with your kids. If you have a dog, you could bring them too. Running is a great way to stay in shape and let go of stress.

-          A scavenger hunt. This will keep them entertained for hours and all that running around will burn a few calories.

-          Tag. What kid doesn’t love tag?

Indoor activities

For a fun and healthy activity for your kids, stay indoors and cook a healthy meal. Your kids will love helping you and be so proud to eat their own creation that they’ll forget that they're eating something healthy. You also burn calories cooking. Depending on factors like your height and weight, you generally burn about 90 calories per hour of cooking.

The rising obesity tread does not have to define you or your child. It’s hard to carve out an hour a day when your entire family is available, but it will be well worth it. Spending time outdoors has been shown to elevate your mood and increase productivity so would you rather be a couch potato after a long day at work or would you rather bask in the sunlight and spend time with your family? The second option sounds better, huh? Good luck and here’s to healthy living!

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