While growing up, I was fairly athletic. I took dance classes, and was a cheerleader. In high school, I was also on the tennis team and took Cardio Kickboxing classes regularly at my local martial arts center. I knew it was important to take good care of my body.
When I was in elementary school, I often rode my bicycle around my neighborhood. I ran in my friend’s backyard, and regularly jumped on a trampoline. Exercise was a normal part of my life, and is now something I encourage my children to do.
But times have certainly changed. Now 73% of adults in the United States are obese or overweight. Our children are not far behind. The grocery stores are full of food that makes us sick, and we are constantly sitting while being entertained by our phones. It seems pretty obvious what the problem is.
I was surprised to find out that CBS News recently talked about a study which indicated that climate change was behind our children being less aerobically fit than we were at their age. It seems like there is some sort of strange agenda going on here.
I do believe that climate change is real, but I do not believe it is behind our childhood aerobic activity and obesity rates. As parents, we need to take this threat on our children’s health seriously. While blaming climate change and twidling our thumbs might be the easy thing to do, it is far from right.
We can encourage our children to have good habits. Simple things can truly make a difference. Last year, I purchased a blank chore chart for each child along with a package of stickers. Every time they complete thirty minutes of activity, they can put a sticker on their chart. If they decide to jog/run for ten minutes, this gets a sticker, too.
Once their chart is full of stickers, I have a ribbon to give them. This is such a small thing, but it really encourages them to be active.
We also need to model good activity levels for our children. This is one of my motivations to work out in some capacity every single day.
If we act like exercising isn’t important, then why would our children think it is a good idea? Our children need to exercise more now than ever. We live in such a toxic environment, and our food is often not the best for us unless we deliberately try to change that within our homes. Exercise helps to detoxify our body, and aerobic health helps us to battle sickness so much better.
When the weather is not good, we can have a fun exercise game time in our living room. Or, we can put on an exercise video and see if our children want to follow along. We’ve done this in our home before, and usually we end up laughing all the way through.
The truth of the matter is, we are largely sedentary in our society now. We usually have to make a conscious effort to exercise. The Lord gave us an amazing body with the capacity to do so much. If we blame something like climate change, what motivation do parents have to change anything? We can start off small by putting our phones down and going for a walk. Each and every small step counts!