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Helping Your Child Stay Fit

By Kirsten Hawkins

Would your child rather watch television and play video games all day than move an inch? Children are battling obesity and inactivity at alarming rates. It's time to get our kids in shape now, before they face serious health problems in the future. But how?

As you can guess, the plan includes lots of fun. Any time you can add excitement and laughter into an activity, you've got a winner. Let's take a look at some of the ways you can help your child not only become healthier, but enjoy the process!

First, plan some family nights out, and by that I mean Outdoors. Catching fireflies, passing football, even camping out in the backyard get the whole gang moving. Plus, you're making memories for a lifetime.

Secondly, kids love fun, unusual games. Check out a book of outdoor games at the library, and play some of the oddest ones. Use a tennis racket and large plastic ball for baseball, a giant exercise ball for kickball, and balloons for volleyball. The simple changes make the game more fun -sometimes downright hysterical!

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Next, it's time to look for a physical hobby - something that requires movement. Gardening's a great one - plant giant pumpkins, King Sunflowers, grape tomatoes, mini carrots, and odd-shaped gourds for novelty. Check out a book on carpentry for kids, and let your child learn to build some simple items like birdhouses and feeders.

You may want to consider investing in one of the large, inflatable waterslides or rock climbing wall. Some of these inflatable items are surprisingly sturdy and provide hours of physical fun and exercise.

Finally, enhance your child's creativity as well by having him or her design an obstacle course in the backyard. Beware! You may have to run through it, too! But activities that provide fun and fitness for the whole family can't be beat!

Who knows? Before long you may find the video games on a shelf gathering dust. Wouldn't that be a nice change of pace?

© Kirsten Hawkins
Kirsten Hawkins is a nutrition and health expert from Nashville, TN. Visit for more great nutrition, well-being, and vitamin tips as well as reviews and comments on popular diets.


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