Childhood obesity is becoming a very common problem here in the United States. In fact, according to the CDC, more than 1 in 5 school-aged children are obese. If this number includes your child, don’t stress; there are some very simple ways to help get your little one moving to improve their weight and health.
Remember: when it comes to exercise, the more you do it the more efficiently your body will burn off fat. So let’s get started with 5 easy and FUN indoor/outdoor exercises for kids!
It’s like an obstacle course, but with chalk! Draw shapes on the ground, each one with its own meaning: circles you can only jump on one foot while in, squares you have to jump with two feet, triangles are for bear walking, a straight line must be jumped over, and the first one to make it to the star shape wins!
This activity can be done inside AND outside. Simply grab some water (trust us, you’ll need it!), find some fun music, and crank up the volume! Dancing burns over 400 calories an hour, builds muscle, increases flexibility, and is a great cardio workout. A 20 to 30 minute dance party may not seem like much, but when done every other day can put your child on the right track to regaining control of their own body and managing their weight.
This game is best done outdoors, as it involves actual bubbles! Make a small batch of DIY Bubbles (recipe here), go outside, and make bubbles. You can even use a straw, dip it into the mixture, and blow into it to see how big of a bubble you can make. Or you can purchase bubble wands typically at a dollar store. The goal of the game is to chase and bust as many bubbles as you can. Get outside and get their blood pumping!
This one is an oldie but goodie. The “Simon” of the group gives commands, but must first say “Simon Says” for the command to be valid. If that phrase is not said before the command is given, anyone who followed the command is out of the game until the next round. If you’d like to give your child a chance to be the “Simon” when you play, to help them get the most out of this game encourage them to also do the command they give.
This game is fun, but take it from experience…use a soft object. Ha! A pillow, a balloon, or a stuffed animal can be the Hot Potato, tossed from one person to the next with a quickness. This game will get the blood pumping, the arms working, increase reaction time, and can be full of laughs!
Exercise doesn’t have to be grueling, and it doesn’t have to be a chore. Finding ways to make activity fun for kids is a key component to battling childhood obesity. The benefits include a lower body fat percentage, a healthier heart, a faster metabolism, an increase in endorphins, and a child who will get to see first-hand how much fun activity can be without viewing it as the burden of losing weight. It will promote a positive attitude about exercise, and THAT is most important of all.
If you suspect your child is having weight issues, don’t be afraid to make an appointment with your doctor for a physical to help assess all the facts. A healthcare provider can help you figure out a plan to prevent childhood obesity, or treat it if your child is already suffering from it. There is help, and you don’t have to do it alone.
We have doctors who can help you at Orchard Hospital’s Medical Specialty Center—Your Everyday Health Care Clinic—offering walk-in care or appointments.
Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.