Thursday, September 30, 2010

Myth: Children today are not getting enough physical activity.

Answer: Correct!

Did you know that 9 out of 10 parents think their children are physically fit, but in reality only 1 in 3 are? With the hours of TV and playing video games increasing, something had to be cut out of the 24-hour day. Instead of physical activity getting the short end of the stick, have your children cut down on TV and video games. Children who are physically active experience fewer chronic health problems than sedentary children.

Parents, teachers and coaches serve as great role models for children, so it is important to participate in positive behaviors. Eating right and incorporating physical activity in your daily life is a good way to send positive messages.

Physical activity not only has great health benefits but it also has other positive outcomes such as building self-confidence and providing stress relief. Try family activities that will get everyone moving off the couch. Host a neighborhood 4-square game, go for a bike ride, make a day trip out to the zoo or park, even having a water balloon competition on a hot autumn day are all great ideas. Get out and play!

For more information on physical activity, visit the Missouri Families website.

Guest Contributor: Eva Hightaian, Nutrition Intern at the University of Missouri
Co-Author: Donna Mehrle, MPH, RD, LD,, University of Missouri Extension

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