(CARLSBAD, CA) – “Go outside and play!” Perhaps you remember your mom speaking those words during your years growing up. You probably have memories of neighborhood games of stickball, kick the can, and capture the flag. Maybe you rode your bike across town or built snowmen in the yard. Whatever the activity, most of us can recall hours spent playing outside with friends and siblings.
Unfortunately, the act of outdoor play appears to be a lost pastime, as modern-day kids log endless hours on MySpace and gather with neighborhood friends around the Sony PlayStation.
This sedentary lifestyle of American families is accompanied by an epidemic of health problems. Lack of physical fitness and obesity are linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, and an array of other medical conditions. Even if kids are not clinically obese, just a few extra pounds can cause fatigue, insomnia, back and joint problems.
Just how many kids are overweight these days? One study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that the percentage of slightly overweight children and teenagers has doubled in the last two decades. The National Institute of Health reveals that one in five children are overweight.
The key to helping kids become more physically active involves the entire family. Children often model the behavior of their patterns, and exercise patterns are no exception. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends that families find fitness-related activities that they can do together.
Not sure how to get your family moving? Try some of these family fitness endeavors that are practical, inexpensive, and enjoyable for kids and parents alike.
Whatever activity you choose, the most important decision you can make for your family today is to simply get moving. So, start limiting television and computer time, and try a family fitness activity instead.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.