Pediatrician Dr. Rodd Stein offers some practical advice on keeping kids active
Last year’s release of new Federal Physical Activity Guidelines has many parents wondering how to keep their kids active. We reached out to local pediatrician and Club Fit member Dr. Rodd Stein to ask his advice…
“I think that preaching to people about exercise is like talking about the benefits of quitting smoking. Everyone knows that It’s good for you. There are plenty of studies out there that illustrate how good exercise is for you and how detrimental inactivity and obesity are to your health, which are nicely summarized in the CDC links below.* The trick is getting a child to start. A lot of it may have to come from the person themself, but I think that the one thing parents can do to motivate their children is to exercise with them. Go for a walk in the park, or a hike, or a trip to the city, or join a gym and make it your mission to go with them. Most people need a partner to get motivated. Make your children your partner.
In order to improve one’s health, you can’t just talk about exercise, you need to include diet in the conversation, but a lot of times people need to break a cycle of inactivity and poor diet by first just getting out there and doing something. Anything. Once they start to move around more, they start to feel better about themselves. Then, they may not want to make some of the poor food choices they have been making. Maybe they’ll start to slowly change their diet around. For example, they’ll stop eating sugary snacks, stop drinking sodas and fruit drinks, or limit desserts. Then they start to see a difference in how they look and feel, which feeds back to a desire to stay healthy. It starts with tiny steps; nothing too dramatic. Every year when I see people for check ups a few of them have actually gotten themselves into shape and I always ask them how they did it. I always get the same answer. It’s never tricks, fad diets or drugs. It’s always, ‘I stopped eating and drinking garbage and I started exercising’.”
Looking for a fun way to get your kids moving? Bring them to our Cardio Kids class led by Personal Trainer Kelly Bautista, held on the first Saturday of each month. Kids from ages 5–12 will enjoy 45 minutes of high-energy fun. Class is FREE for Club Fit members!