“My real self, the self I have always been from a child, is a loner and nerd, slightly overweight, with a very heavy fringe. That is who I was as a kid. I don’t think I will ever be anything other than that.” Morose reflections from, now bombshell and British-American actress Hayley Atwell, recently in “Captain America: The first Avenger.” She spoke a sobering, dysmorphic truth: many of us identify, even now, with how we were labeled as children.
Being obese can shatter a child’s confidence and make each day difficult for the child. Children will grow up mimicking the habits, healthy or unhealthy, of their parents. To single out a child and claim he or she needs to lose weight and exercise will only make the child feel worse. The truth is that the entire family should practice healthy eating and exercise and the exercise can include fun activities out of the gym.
Exercising together is better
National Family Health and Fitness Day USA is right around the corner, Saturday Sept. 26, 2015, and is a perfect opportunity for families to come together and begin leading a healthy lifestyle, unified. More than anything else, families need to work together toward a healthier lifestyle.
Events hosted in various locations throughout the U.S. will include, “Walking events, low-impact exercises, health screenings, open houses, games and health information workshops.” Event founders aimed to remix health education with various kinds of family fun.
Lee Saunders M.D., stresses the benefits of families exercising together. Regardless of the activity, “parents who eat healthily and exercise with their children on a regular basis are teaching them many valuable lessons.” Children continue to learn from their parents actions throughout childhood and the stages of development. Saunders quotes author Debbie Mandel as she encourages, “Children who exercise do better academically and learn how to reduce stress.” By spending time exercising together, younger children can learn exercise does not need to be painful. It all starts with parents practicing these healthy habits with their children.
Interact together, not apart
These activities do not have to be strict exercise regimens of running or hitting the treadmill at a gym. Revolution Health Group offers advice and possible options to help families exercise together. Some of options include:
- Turn off video games/TV after school and go for a walk or bike ride
- Look through the weekend paper for local events involving movement
- Seek out family exercise or activity programs at the YMCA or local community centers
- Teach the child about activities outside of team sports such as hiking, swimming, biking or skiing
Working with the child to make up a game involving physical activity at home will help the child learn how to become involved in exercise and a healthy lifestyle. There does not need to be a strict focus on being perfectly fit, but a focus on daily maintaining wellness, fitness and habits.
White River Academy is a boarding school for troubled boys from ages 12 to 17, struggling with issues at school and interpersonal problems. The academy provides treatment and care for the boys through disciplined guidance, continues a strong education program and instills character values through service projects promoting positive growth. For more information or to register, feel free to call 866-520-0905.