You don’t have to buy any special equipment or make an investment in a new backyard. It can be as simple as turning up your teen’s favorite pop diva and bouncing around the room for a half a CD. Consider the following activities and the amount of calories a 100 pound person could burn doing them for one hour...
- Dancing moderately 160
- Jumping rope 500
- Hiking or backpacking 265
- Softball 185
- Bicycling 160
- Walking (3 mph) 215
Sadly, instead of dancing, jumping, etc. most of our kids are watching… television, that is. We’ve all heard that scary statistic about how much television kids watch daily. Now how about an even more alarming number? Experts say the average American child now gets less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
Getting your child to exercise will reap many rewards. Firstly, exercise raises the metabolism, the rate at which the body burns calories. The best part is when you’re done exercising, your metabolism stays boosted. That way, even when you child is at rest she will continue to burn calories more efficiently once her metabolism is “revved up”.
Another benefit exercise is a boost to emotional health. Research has shown for years that working out increases our sense of well-being, and the same goes for kids. It relieves stress (and kids do get stressed, too!), anxiety, and depression. This is due in part to exercise’s release of endorphins, a natural painkiller created by the brain.
Your child might now realize the gravity of health concerns now, but chances are once she gets into the exercise habit, she'll look forward to the sense of well-being and pride it gives her to keep it up. So the next time the sun is shining, pick an activity you both enjoy and get out there. The kid in you will have fun, too!
1 Childhood Inactivity Bad Omen, Says LSU Ag Center Nutritionist
2 Parents: Your Kids Between Ages Of 8 And 17 May be At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes ... And You May Not Know It
3 Physical inactivity a leading cause of disease and disability, warns WHO