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kidsplayingIn this age of technology you might find your kids watching TV, playing video games, online, or constantly texting. What ever happened to running outside and playing sports? If this is a memory of your childhood but not your child’s, it’s time to get active as we move into fall! 

Spending increasing amounts of time in front of a screen is one reason why children have become increasingly overweight over the past decade.  Although there’s been recent good news that the rate of child obesity in some states has been slowing down (thanks in part to WIC!), it’s still too high.  Besides eating a healthy diet, physical activity is important in keeping your child at a healthy weight and preventing health problems in the future.  To get the most benefit, it’s recommended that children get 60 minutes of exercise every day.  If this sounds like a lot, remember that it can be broken down into smaller amounts, such as four 15-minute sessions each day.

Outdoor play will increase fitness levels and help build healthy bodies. What can you do to help your children catch the fitness wave?  Being involved and joining your children is probably one of the most important things to do when starting an active lifestyle for your family. Be a role model.  You can teach them sports, go on bike rides together, visit a local park or playground, or just play games, like Freeze Tag or Duck, Duck, Goose.  Another way to kick-start an active lifestyle for your family is to make it a daily routine.  Scheduling a certain time of day—every day—for your children to be active will help to make it a lifelong habit.  

Stuck indoors on a rainy day?  That’s no reason to stay glued to the couch!  Crank up some music, clear a space in your living room and have a dance contest–the winner gets to decide the next activity.  Simon Says, Head-Shoulders-Knees & Toes and other games can also help get your children up and moving indoors.

Fit WIC is a relatively new program at WIC which teaches families fun and creative ways to increase physical activity.  Ask your local WIC program for Fit WIC activity ideas and you’ll be glad to give up screen time! 

 For more information on how to become more active, visit:

http://www.pinterest.com/masswic/fitness-for-the-whole-family/

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/basic-needs/food/wic/participants/fitwic.html

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/children.html

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