Childhood obesity is a rampant problem across the world. It puts kids at serious risk of poor health. It is estimated that more than 300 million people are obese worldwide. According to a report, 21.4% boys and 18.5 % girls aged 13-18 years from urban south India were overweight or obese. The percentage of children who were obese has increased tremendously in the last few years. There are several contributing factors for childhood obesity such as
- Genetic factors i.e. children whose parents are obese may be at an increased risk of becoming overweight
- Lack of physical activity, is the second important cause for childhood obesity. Unhealthy eating habits, is another important contributing factor that leads to childhood obesity.
- Hormonal disorders are responsible for childhood obesity.
- Psychological factors such as anxiety, tension and depression.
Unfortunately, this may put children on the path of several health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Many obese children become obese adults and have low self-esteem, depression and other behavioral problems.
Of course, prevention is the best strategy to reduce the risk of complications. Making healthy life style changes and food choices is one of the integral parts of obesity prevention. But getting kids into the habit of being active is equally important. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it sounds and a lot of parents struggle with it.
A few days ago, I met one of my dear friend. She was very anxious because of her child’s obesity issue. At 49 pounds, Soham’s BMI (A calculation that determine total body fat by using child’s age, height, gender) is much higher than the average range. This put him in obese category. Doctors have warned that his weight could become a problem in the future, and he may get higher cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes at an early age.
She has tried her all efforts to motivate him to be physically active, but to no avail. She tried all well-known methods and tactics like making a regular exercising schedule, joining a sport, limiting screen time. But she wasn’t able to inspire her child enough. After struggling for months, she now feels frustrated because nothing seems to work.
As I had heard her conversation, I understood her emotions. As a physician, I would have offered the same piece of advice. But as a parent, I can understand her struggle. Indeed, it is not an easy task to convince kids to do positive things. Kids have common issues when forced to be physically active.
- They did not find it interesting
- They want change
- They want more fun, instead of learning
- They hate to be pressurised
Along with this common problems, sometimes climatic conditions are also create a major obstacle to being physical active. So does it mean there is no hope? Of course not!
I researched and came up with some innovative ways to make your kids physically active which I would love to share with you all. Before starting any exercise schedule it is must to take a professional advice. If you or your child has a specific condition, then it is necessary to plan your exercise routine accordingly.
Music and dance
The first and most common way to inspire kids for being physically active is to incorporate exercise routine with exciting music. You can either choose exercise songs to motive kids or adopt a dance exercise routine to make it fun and enjoying.
Patty Shukla kids TV has excellent collection of exercise songs for kids that includes action, dancing, jumping and other exciting moves with melodious music. Kids will never get bored with this kind of exercise.
Children and animals are a match made in heaven. Kids have a natural urge and fascination for animals that runs much deeper than simple curiosity. So why not incorporate their favourite thing to their workout routine? Kids will have great fun with learning. This can be done as a group activity too!
Fun games and pretend play is another brilliant idea to keep kids active. Here is a great 25 minute fun workout video from fitnessblender.com that includes some well-known games (red light, green light) along with a simple fun workout. This one is great for siblings too.
Kids’ cosmic yoga
Whenever we hear the word “Yoga”, we immediately think that it is serious business and requires a lot of regular practice and patience. Of course, yoga is an ancient science and it should be practised under proper guidance and supervision.
Kids love story telling and they learn anything when the concept of storytelling is blended with any learning activity. Cosmic kid’s yoga has done the same thing. It has some amazing videos that incorporate excellent yoga moves with interesting story narrations. Frozen, Alice in wonderland, star wars…I am sure kids would love this innovative way of exercising. If you want to keep an organized approach for your yoga lessons, here is a great yoga series by Mai Meret for proper guidance.
Another thing that kids love very easily is animation. They are drawn naturally towards animations. It ignites their imagination and they can relate easily to animated characters. So why not blend animation into their workout scene?
Here is a very informative video by kid’s education, where the king of jungle, a lion, explains the importance of exercise to kids along with other animals. If explained with interest, kids love to listen. This exciting animation video will get kids involved in exercise without any extra effort. There is another good animation yoga series by Appu series. You can use it as guidance.
So these were the suggestions I offered to help my friend. Of course, it is a difficult path but hard work, constant motivation and regular practice will help in achieving desired goal. It is also necessary to be a role model and set a healthy family atmosphere by adopting healthy life style (eat healthy and regular exercise as a family). Are you also struggling with childhood obesity? What are your steps or suggestions to overcome this troublesome issue? Please share!
Surbhi is a qualified doctor (B.H.M.S.) with 5 year of teaching and clinical experience. She started her writing journey at the age of 17 and published various articles in famous news paper and magazines. The most incredible experience of her life is being a mommy of two cute dolls. Recently she started her own blog Positive Parenting. She loves to write on crafting, parenting issues and kids activity and wants to share her parenting journey with others.