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Help Your Child Develop Healthy Habits

Jul 9, 2008
A childhood obesity epidemic is sweeping across the country. One in three children ages 6-19 is overweight, a number that has doubled in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Being overweight is one thing children should be warned about early. Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults, the surgeon general's office says.

Obesity has serious health and social implications. Health problems include: asthma, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancers, high blood pressure, increased stress on bones and cartilage, sleep apnea, low self-esteem and depression. Sound scary? That's not all. Social consequences include bullying, discrimination, harassment, isolation and violence.

The cure for this epidemic is readily at hand: eat more wisely and exercise more regularly. We need to make sure our children are being physically active for a minimum of one hour each day. A lot of them aren't getting their exercise at school. According to the CDC, high school physical education classes have dropped to 32 percent nationwide.

And now that schools out, the risk is high that millions of children will spend a lot of their time lying around the house watching television or playing on the computer while eating chips and sweetened cereals.

One solution is to put your child in a martial arts program. The martial arts promote a healthy lifestyle, are great exercise, and they keep kids busy with a positive activity.

As a parent, you have the greatest impact on your child's health by the choices you make every day. Here are some things you can do.

Make your house a sugar-free zone and substitute potato chips with grapes and other fresh fruits. Also, switch from soda to milk or water.

Turn off the television during meals. Take a walk together after meals a couple of times a week. Reward your kids for mowing the lawn, or washing the car or walking the dog.

A big plus would be to enroll your child in a good martial arts program. Along with exercise, karate develops self-discipline and self-control which will help them make the right decisions and choices.

Model the positive behavior for your children and it will become a normal part of their lives at home. Then when they are on their own and face unhealthy food, exercise and life choices, they will know how to resist.

Summer is the perfect time to start a healthy and active lifestyle for yourself and your entire family.
When school starts, your kids can answer the question about what they did over the summer with three simple words: We got healthy.
About the Author
Steven Doss developed healthy habits as a child from the martial arts, and forty years later, has passed on to thousands of children these same lessons of Self discipline, Respect, and Self-defense. See what your child has to look forward to at http://www.pmaaustin.com.
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