Childhood obesity is on the rise. Visit any shopping area, school or restaurant and it’s plain to see that our national statistic stands to be true. Yes, the statistic that states, one in three children are overweight or obese. What’s most alarming is children learn from what is modeled to them. The actions of parents, siblings, and media mirror the decisions our children make. As a society that lures more to plant and secure happiness and contentedness, this same notion is being applied to our eating demands. As a double whammy this same logic is being applied to our yearn for technology, which in most cases, leaves us immobile, with no ability to efficiently burn the excess calories consumed. It’s a cycle that continues to increase the fat percentage of our children and adults alike.
As a fitness professional who provides for youth and adults with autism, I see how the current statistic can potentially become more alarming within this special population. Physiologically speaking, most autistic youth that I train, commonly showcase low muscle tone and a decrease in strength, particularly found in their posterior chain, core, and postural muscles. Adding these physiological traits to a high caloric diet with minimal movement we’ll surely hit this population harder.
So other than attending Raise the Bar classes at Right-Fit weekly to combat this problem, parents and educators have the power to showcase and provide a healthy lifestyle that includes balance, sprung with motivation and success. If what is preached in the home is practiced inside the home and among society, children will effortlessly make healthy decisions and choices. Therefore, these decisions and choices will generate lean and healthy bodies with positive/powerful minds regardless of age or capability.
Sure, this is easier said then done. I understand. Here are a few simple and proactive ways to ensure that you and/or your child do not become another statistic.
1.Play! Play is a main ingredient in creating a fit child and adult. Schedule play into daily activity at home and in school. Not to mention, play is very affordable and can be done anywhere with minimal accessories.
2.Seek nutrition advice from those who are health advocates and find eating healthy to be a “no-brainer.” I’m sure you can think of five people right now. These individuals will gladly give you healthy tips and tricks to add to your dietary toolbox. While you’re at it, surround yourself with these people more often. You tend to model the behavior of those you are around most.
3.Create challenges! Simply put a pedometer on and measure how many steps you take in a day or in an hour. Chart your findings. Set a goal to increase those steps, say by 10 steps daily. Watch what happens when your child and family experience success. This may lead to joining a sport’s team, fitness facility, and/or signing up for a 5K race. The options are endless!
Here’s a link to a recent article that discusses ProActice Kids, a nonprofit program, created to decrease obesity in youth. Right Fit provides the fitness component for this program.
Copyright © 2017 Suzanne M. Gray.