Exercise: How To Keep Your Kids Moovin and Groovin

One out of five American kids is obese and the numbers keep going up. Lack of exercise is one reason for the obesity epidemic and it's a true epidemic that threatens health. In fact, this may be the first generation of kids in history not to outlive their parents because of obesity.

Kids can play outside when the weather is good. What can they do when the weather is bad? Exercise is one way to combat the obesity epidemic and these indoor activities wll keep your kids moovin' and groovin'. Your kids could:

- Walk up and down stairs 10 times in a row.

- Dance to music with their friends.

- Draw a hopscotch box with chalk on the garage floor and play with brothers, sisters, friends, even their parents.

- Walk every aisle in the grocery store.

- Jump rope in the garage.

- Ride a stationery bike if you have one.

- Go for an inside walk at a mall. Your kids should go around twice if they can.

- Do jumping jacks in the basement.

- Become stretching champs. They could touch their toes without bending their knees, bend one leg backwards and hold their foot with their hand, or twist from side to side without moving their feet.

- Play ping pong with the family.

- Ride a scooter or roller blade in an empty garage.

- Take 1,000 steps inside the house and track these steps with a pedometer.

- Exercise in the school gym on weekends. (Get permission first.)

- Walk the indoor skyway system if your city or town has one.

These are just a few ideas. If you brainstorm with your kids you'll probably come up with more. Your kids might want to start a Moovin' and Groovin' Club. Now that would be cool.

Copyright 2005 by Harriet Hodgson. To learn more about her work go to www.harriethodgson.com

Harriet Hodgson has been a nonfiction writer for 26 years. Her recent work focuses on health and she is a member of the Association of Healh Care Journalists. She has written two health books for kids in grades 3-5, Food Label Detective and Catching the Exercise Thief. Both activity books were published by Minnesota Medical Association Alliance. A member of Mayo Clinic's Action on Obesity Task Force, Hodgson has presented at two obesity summits and continues to write health resources for kids. Her 24th book, Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, co-authored with Lois Krahn, MD, is available on amazon.com

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