Who Wants to Stay Inside?

Summer Plans for Families

School’s out and with the beautiful weather, who wants to stay inside? But, did you know that research by pediatricians and sports medicine experts at UW Health showed that kids were actually more sedentary during the summer?

We’ve heard it all over the news, and it’s true – obesity, including obesity in kids, is a very real health crisis in the U.S.:

  • Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States
  • 60 million Americans, 20 years and older are obese
  • 9 million children and teens ages 6-19 are overweight
  • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including: breast cancer, coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, hypertension and stroke

With these statistics, there is no better time to start making healthy lifestyle changes than today.

Commit to Positive Changes

Commit to making positive changes this summer by following four simple steps toward a healthy lifestyle:

  • Limit sugary drinks each day! Replace sweet beverages with skim or 1% milk, cold water or sparkling water.
  • Eat veggies & fruits! Ideally, half of what we eat should be fruits or vegetables. At minimum, we should eat five servings of fruits and/or vegetables each day.
  • Limit Screen Time to two hours! Screen time includes TV, computer and game system time. Less screen time hopefully leads to more activity and less snacking. There should not be a TV in a child’s bedroom.
  • Increase active living! Schedule fun and active family activities (walks, bike rides, games, etc). Get at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity every day.

To ensure you are all staying focused on health and fitness, sign the “Pediatric (and Adult) FITNESS Contract” and hang it up somewhere you will see everyday. You can even consider offering a reward to your kids for completing the contract successfully.

Get Fit Together

If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, try the “Let’s Get Fit Together Challenge” with your family.

“Let’s Get Fit Together Challenge” is an eight-week fun program that helps increase physical activity levels. Get started now by requesting your copy of the “Let’s Get Fit Together Challenge” Tracker. Fill out the information here and we’ll mail you the Tracker.

For more information on nutrition and physical activity, visit the UW Health Pediatric Fitness Clinic website at uwhealth.org/fitkids.