Children these days spend too much time playing video games and sitting in front of the TV. Adults will say that they did not spend nearly that much time indoors. We used to go outside with our friends and playing outside was not considered a form of punishment. We wanted to be outside all the time. After all, there was nothing to do inside and staying home was a form of punishment, not a reward.
Well, things have changed, and our children do spend more time inside. Unfortunately, it seems that technology is connected to obesity, but technology is not to be blamed. Children should spend more time playing outside with their friends and enrolling in sport activities.
New research, conducted by a group of international researchers, suggests that aerobic may reduce those serious long-term health risks of childhood obesity. This is not a surprise, however, as parents, we do not take this as seriously as we should. Aerobic fitness can reduce the risk of developing severe metabolic syndromes in early adulthood by 36%. These metabolic syndromes present a group of cardiovascular diseases which can lead to coronary artery disease, Type 2 diabetes, and even stroke.
Children with a higher level of abdominal fat are at a risk of adult metabolic syndrome. It is alarming that children in the US and other developed countries have a substantially higher level of abdominal fat and they also have a significantly lower level of aerobic fitness compared to children in developing countries. Children today are not active enough to battle the risks of the cardiovascular disease and childhood obesity.
What can we do? Unfortunately, playing tennis twice a week won’t be enough. What’s necessary for children is to enroll in physical activities on a daily basis, no matter how small those activities might be. Playing outside with friends, going outside bowling with family members, hiking and sports activities in school should be a part of a child’s life. Less time in front of TV and more time outside is crucial for a child’s overall health. Needless to say that sitting around is usually accompanied with eating unhealthy snacks and food. This is a recipe for childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
We should insist for children to develop healthy lifestyle habits in order for them to become healthy and active adults.