Activity Monitor May Be a Smart Investment For Your Child
By Dana Yarn, RDLD
It is no secret that several children from this rising generation are at risk for being over 50% obese by the time they are adults. They are sedentary, indoors and have developed addictions to processed food and snacks. It's easy to point the finger and blame video games, computers, and fast food restaurants or on a more serious note there are a lot of parents who are terrified to let their children play outside alone for safety reasons.
No matter what the cause is there is a solution to the evolutionary sedentary lifestyle of our upcoming generation of youth. Get them up and moving, they don't have to do organized sports or conventional exercise, but they should monitor their activity. Activity naturally boost the "good mood hormone" serotonin, this hormone is also raised when there is excessive sugar or fat consumption, obviously it's ideal to boost it naturally through activity not consuming junk foods. The extra activity paired along with healthy nutrition will keep their weight under control which will also naturally boost self esteem and academic performance.
Activity monitors are being sold by numerous companies including: Apple (ibitz is the one specifically designed for kids priced around $30), Nike, Polar, Fitbit, Motorola, etc. they can be clipped on or even worn as a watch or a bracelet. The main goal is to have a target number of steps per day; an active adult should be at 10,000 or more steps daily to be considered active and this goes for children too. I am warning you if you think you are active and you workout daily, but you sit at a desk all day you still may be way under the 10,000 step mark. It takes a conscious effort to get those extra steps in like parking far away, going for walks throughout the day, taking the stairs, etc.
For a child to "buy into" the activity monitor it is best to have a partner or role model like a sibling or better yet a parent to compare steps daily and even make a healthy competition out of it. It's just like the foods we eat, if we as parents do not set a good example of eating balanced nutritious meals then how can we expect our children to follow us. Get out there and be active, the benefits are endless for everyone!
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