As the weather warms, we have the opportunity to look ahead to all the fun summer activities we get to do in Montana. Picnics, swimming, camping and fishing trips, and backyard barbecues just wouldn’t be the same without the hot dogs and burgers, the chips, the sodas and ice cream. When we have a regular exercise routine, we don’t have to worry quite so much about packing on the extra pounds. Do you have a good fitness plan in place to deal with this challenge? And what about your kids? Do you think about their fitness needs as well?
Seventeen percent of American children and teens between the ages of two and nineteen are obese. Obesity rates have almost tripled in the US since 1980. At this rate, we increase kid’s potential for a lifetime of health problems such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, asthma and sleep apnea, joint problems and musculoskeletal complaints, liver disease, gallstones, heartburn, and social and psychological problems such as discrimination and low self-esteem.
As the summer approaches, consider new ways to encourage children to stay active; parents set powerful examples for children. In the midst of this childhood obesity epidemic, establishing healthy diet and lifestyle habits at an early age gives kids the best chance to prevent obesity as adults. Remember: the “outdoors” is always open! Get your kids moving this summer and eat ice cream without guilt!